Looks like the beanstalk – but where’s Jack?

In the early days of setting up a garden in the field of our finca home in rural Mallorca, we had no idea quite how large everything would grow. It seems that the lack of soil depth on our rocky land has been no deterrent to growth: aloes, agaves, ‘swords’ (I have no idea of their official name), and yuccas, have all grown to sizes beyond our expectations.

I used to wonder when our garden would be considered ‘mature’. Well, I think it’s now: one of our ‘sword’ plants has sprouted something akin to the beanstalk of the famous fairytale, and resembling a giant stalk of asparagus. If only. Think of the culinary treats . . .



We know that the stalk will eventually throw out a flower and, once that has died, it’s goodbye plant. Although it’s quite exciting to see this thing grow (and it’s making fairly rapid progress out there), this mighty plant, having flowered, will wither and keel over. We’ve checked its future trajectory and our roof seems to be in no danger, but The Boss will have quite a job to dig the dead plant – and what are probably quite impressive roots – out of the ground. A decade ago it was a small and rather sickly thing when a kind neighbor gave it to us to help fill some of the yawning space that was crying out to be a Mediterranean garden.

No wonder it's called the sword plant . . .

No wonder it’s called the sword plant . . .

Although the evil spikes on the end of each sword-like leaf have punctured various bits of our bodies during gardening sessions (ouch!), we’ll still be sorry to lose such an impressive architectural plant.




10 thoughts on “Looks like the beanstalk – but where’s Jack?

  1. This must be the one of the agave species of which there are plenty. One specie is used to make Tequila and most parts of the agave are edible. You only have to remove the dead parts later as it is easily propagated by the offsets from the base of the stem. You will also get a lot of new baby agave’s to propagate from the flowering.

  2. Yes we have six of these which were
    small plants when we bought the house in 2003. Three flowered two years ago and died and were chopped
    down The other three did the same last year but are still stood there awaiting being chopped down. Has any one know of any easy way to dispose of these things without getting. PIERCED.

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