why do we die?

Doug Eernisse DEernisse at fullerton.edu
Mon Nov 13 06:31:57 EST 1995

In article <4803b3$amr at nntp3.u.washington.edu>,
mkkuhner at phylo.genetics.washington.edu (Mary K. Kuhner) wrote:

> The organism that really puzzles me in this context is the century plant
> (which I was lucky enough to see flowering once in Berkeley,
> California).  It lives longer than I'm likely to, and flowers *once* at
> the end of its lifespan.  As far as I know it doesn't propagate
> vegetatively, either.  What conditions make this a reasonable life
> history?

Perhaps the reason you are puzzled is that century plants really
don't live that long. I'm not a botanist, but I think these are
any of several members of genus Agave that bloom after about
10 or 20 years, and in some species then die.

Doug Eernisse <DEernisse at fullerton.edu>
Dept. Biological Science MH282
California State University
Fullerton, CA 92634

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