An agave flower stem towers above Plaka beach near Orkos on Naxos
Island highrises: Colourful bougainvillea and geraniums are the flowering plants you’ll see the most often while travelling in the Greek Isles. However, on Naxos, Milos and other islands in the Cyclades, distinctive agave flower stems will catch your attention, too. They’re hard to miss, particularly since the slender green stems of these peculiar succulent plants can soar two storeys tall. (I think they resemble giant asparagus stalks.) We’ve seen them near Plaka, Mikri Vigla and Agia Anna beaches on Naxos, as well as on Milos and other islands. Often called “century plants,” the stems of these perennials flower only once and then die, often tilting at sharp angles as they begin to rot.
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