Agave – the “fake” cactus plants

Agaves are commonly mistaken to be cacti due to their appearance – spiny thick succulent leaves etc. However, Agaves are not related to cacti or Aloe, with whom they share a passing resemblance. The agave plants are monocarpic, which means that they flower only once in their lifetimes after which they die. As the flowering cycle could be decades, some species of Agave are also known as century plants.

Agave bovicornuta

The photograph above is that of Agave bovicornuta from the New York Botanical gardens taken with an iPhone 4S and post-processed in Adobe Light 5.0.



Please raise your hand if you are one of those (like me) who always thought pineapple fruits hung from a plant upside down. For a long time I had this vision of a pineapple tree with many pineapples hanging downwards from branches (like that in an apple tree). The first time I saw a pineapple on the plant many years ago, it was, needless to say, a moment for pause and surprise.


Pineapples belong to the Bromeliad family, and like other bromeliads, are low growing plants with tough waxy leaves. This particular specimen was seen at the New York Botanical Gardens and photographed with an iPhone 4s.



The artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) is a type of thistle whose unopened buds (hearts) are used in Mediterranean cuisine. The photograph below is that of the wild (and therefore inedible variety) artichoke, also known as cardoon. That the artichoke is closely related to the thistle is clear from the purple head of petals that sit on top of the flower.

Cynara cardunculus

Photographed at the New York Botanical Gardens on 22nd July, 2013 using an iPhone 4S. Later processed in Adobe Lightroom simulating a single frame HDR.

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