Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Agave Tequilana

Agave Tequilana in an artistic color - captured in Casa GrandeAZ

Agave tequilana,
commonly called blue agave, tequila agave, mezcal or maguey is an agave plant that is an important economic product of Jalisco, Mexico, due to its role as the base ingredient of tequila, a popular distilled spirit. The high production of sugars—mostly in the form of fructose—in the core of this plant, are the most important element for the preparation of alcoholic beverages.
The tequila agave is a native of Jalisco, Mexico. The tequila agave favors high altitudes of more than 1,500 meters and grows in rich and sandy soils. While commercial and wild agaves have different life cycles, both grow into large succulents, with spiky fleshy leaves, that can reach over two meters in height. Wild Agaves, however, sprout a shoot when about five years old, that can grow an additional five meters and are topped with yellow flowers.

The flowers are pollinated by a native bat (Leptonycteris nivalis) and produce several thousand seeds per plant. The plant then dies. The shoots are removed when about a year old from commercial plants to allow the heart to grow larger. The plants are then reproduced by planting these shoots; this has led to a considerable loss of genetic diversity in cultivated blue agave.

It is rare for one kept as a houseplant to flower; nevertheless, a fifty year old blue agave in Boston grew a 10 m (30 ft) stalk requiring a hole in the greenhouse roof and flowered in the summer of 2006.

Tequila is produced by removing the heart of the plant in its twelfth year. Normally weighing between 35–90 kg (77–198 lb). This heart is stripped of its leaves and heated to remove the sap, which is fermented and distilled. Other beverages like mezcal and pulque are also produced from blue and other agaves by different methods (though still using the sap) and are regarded as more traditional.

Researchers from Mexico's University of Guadalajara believe blue agave contains compounds that may be useful in carrying drugs to the intestines to treat diseases, such as Crohn's disease and colitis.

I hope you'll enjoy the read! Thank you foe all the comments on my last post!
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PhotoVigor said...

Hi Sue,
The picture but look great, like abstract. Did you use any affect or photo-shop?

Susanne49 said...

Do you know PICASA, Vigor??? There are some nice useful tools and it's free :))

Thanks for stopping by, glad you like it. :)

A Lady's Life said...

This was interesting and I do like to learn about plants and cures to diseases. I heard cactuses were in danger of disappearing altogether so I am glad people are planting a lot of them to make a come back.

Susanne49 said...

Thank you for your kind comment, Lady!

If I would have a big garden, I would plant those Agave and also cacti,because I love them! ;)

nothingprofound said...

What a beautiful photograph! I used to see agave plants all the time in the Arizona desert, but don't know if they were the same kind.

Susanne49 said...

Do you know what, Marty? I just realized that I wrote it wrong: This plant was captured in Casa Grande in Arizona and not in New Mexico!! Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

Shame on me to mix this up so badly!!
And you were right! :)

Thanks for your kind comment :)

Impeccable said...

What a beauty it is n people use it for this purpose alas :(

Anna said...

Susanne, not only beautiful photography, but also beautiful art created by you. Surreal. Anna :)

Anna said...

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Susanne the above message is from Matthew, he typed it for you. Anna :)

Susanne49 said...

Thank you very much, dear Anna! :)

Susanne49 said...

Hi Matthew, my little sunshine from far up in the North. Thank you soooo much for your wonderful comment, you made my day!

Big hug to you and a BIG kiss! :))
Love you too! :)

Anna: I can see, he can already reach the first line of the keyboard :)) Thank you for letting him write me a comment, it brought a big smile to my face! :)


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