How Does Our Agave Grow? Reproductive Biology of a Suspected Ancient Arizona Cultivar, Agave murpheyi Gibson

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/554320
Title:
How Does Our Agave Grow? Reproductive Biology of a Suspected Ancient Arizona Cultivar, Agave murpheyi Gibson
Author:
Adams, Karen R.; Adams, Rex K.
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Tree Ring Research, University of Arizona
Publisher:
University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
Journal:
Desert Plants
Rights:
Copyright © Arizona Board of Regents. The University of Arizona.
Collection Information:
Desert Plants is published by The University of Arizona for the Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum. For more information about this unique botanical journal, please email the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Publications Office at pubs@cals.arizona.edu.
Issue Date:
Dec-1998
Abstract:
More than one species of Agave may have been cultivated by ancient farmers in Arizona. The arguments for this include apparent range extensions, burned Agave parts in archaeological roasting features, archaeological sites with in situ agaves thought to be relics of past human management, and limited molecular evidence. The reproductive biology of a single Agave murpheyi Gibson, one of the suspected cultivated species, is documented here in detail. After nine years of growth in a residential backyard in Tucson, Arizona, a flowering stalk rapidly elongated to 4.73 m (15.5 ft) during both daytime and nighttime hours from January through May. Daily records kept for much of that time revealed the stalk averaged 4.69 cm (1.85 in) of growth per day. Maximum growth spurts correlated with both high daily temperature and mean daily temperature. Lateral branches, eventually totaling twenty-two, began developing during March in the upper portion of the flowering stalk. Over a period of five weeks from late May to late June, these lateral branches flowered with normal-looking flowers, attracted a variety of potential pollinators, but produced no mature fruit. Instead, by the summer monsoon season of July and August, the mother plant had produced 359 miniature agaves or bulbils in these upper side branches. The bulbils appeared to arise from enlargements of tissue in the vicinity of the former flowers. Without releasing on their own, these bulbils became water-stressed and had to be forcibly removed a year later. By this time they were quite variable in fresh weight and size. Once planted, they rehydrated and immediately began to grow. This single plant shares aspects of bulbil production with three Agave murpheyi plants observed by others.
Type:
Article
ISSN:
0734-3434

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorAdams, Karen R.en
dc.contributor.authorAdams, Rex K.en
dc.date.accessioned2015-05-20T16:36:38Zen
dc.date.available2015-05-20T16:36:38Zen
dc.date.issued1998-12en
dc.identifier.issn0734-3434en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10150/554320en
dc.description.abstractMore than one species of Agave may have been cultivated by ancient farmers in Arizona. The arguments for this include apparent range extensions, burned Agave parts in archaeological roasting features, archaeological sites with in situ agaves thought to be relics of past human management, and limited molecular evidence. The reproductive biology of a single Agave murpheyi Gibson, one of the suspected cultivated species, is documented here in detail. After nine years of growth in a residential backyard in Tucson, Arizona, a flowering stalk rapidly elongated to 4.73 m (15.5 ft) during both daytime and nighttime hours from January through May. Daily records kept for much of that time revealed the stalk averaged 4.69 cm (1.85 in) of growth per day. Maximum growth spurts correlated with both high daily temperature and mean daily temperature. Lateral branches, eventually totaling twenty-two, began developing during March in the upper portion of the flowering stalk. Over a period of five weeks from late May to late June, these lateral branches flowered with normal-looking flowers, attracted a variety of potential pollinators, but produced no mature fruit. Instead, by the summer monsoon season of July and August, the mother plant had produced 359 miniature agaves or bulbils in these upper side branches. The bulbils appeared to arise from enlargements of tissue in the vicinity of the former flowers. Without releasing on their own, these bulbils became water-stressed and had to be forcibly removed a year later. By this time they were quite variable in fresh weight and size. Once planted, they rehydrated and immediately began to grow. This single plant shares aspects of bulbil production with three Agave murpheyi plants observed by others.en
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.publisherUniversity of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)en
dc.rightsCopyright © Arizona Board of Regents. The University of Arizona.en_US
dc.sourceCALS Publications Archive. The University of Arizona.en_US
dc.titleHow Does Our Agave Grow? Reproductive Biology of a Suspected Ancient Arizona Cultivar, Agave murpheyi Gibsonen_US
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentLaboratory of Tree Ring Research, University of Arizonaen
dc.identifier.journalDesert Plantsen
dc.description.collectioninformationDesert Plants is published by The University of Arizona for the Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum. For more information about this unique botanical journal, please email the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Publications Office at pubs@cals.arizona.edu.en_US
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