Spineless

Mention the word "spineless" and most people would think of "weak" or "invertebrates".  Most likely, I would think of the same thing myself.

However, add the word "agave" and the context changes entirely for me and other plant enthusiasts.

The spineless agave is officially the Agave attenuata.  It has other more interesting names such as Fox's tail, Lion's tail, Swan's neck and century plant.  The first three names were inspired by the plant's curved stem.  The last name is because it supposedly takes many years for this plant to flower.

Agaves are known to be spiny plants and the A. attenuata is one of few that does not have any.  This makes it pretty safe to have around my children and their friends who love to play outside our home.  I cannot imagine any of the children being punctured by an Agave spine.

Below is a picture of my one and only specimen of this species.  No spines.  No flower.  Unfortunately no curved stem in this picture either.

Agave attenuata

It's not obvious in this picture but I think there is one sucker at the base.  I am hoping this is a portent of imminent flowering and that I do not have to wait years and years to appreciate the flower.