Incredibly Off Topic Native N American crops

Roy Herold
Fri, 19 Mar 2010 18:37:50 PDT
Sorry, Ina, I just have to continue the thread...

I find it amusing that I have seen more opuntias and agaves in China and 
South Africa than in their native North America.

The opuntias in China were definitely of the invasive type, covering 
entire hillsides in Yunnan. I wonder how and why they were introduced.

I didn't see any agaves in China, but there were plenty in South Africa. 
   The generic Agave americanas showed up in very strange places, 
especially the variegated types. You could be driving down a road in the 
middle of nowhere, kilometers from the nearest farm, and bam! there's a 
variegated agave out in the bush, a hundred meters from the road. This 
had to have been intentionally planted. They were much more common 
around the older farms. Every once in a while you encounter a spot where 
the sisal agaves were trying to take over, however. The opuntias were 
frequent, but not nearly as invasive as the Chinese types. They tended 
to be at odd places along the road, or for some reason, near cemeteries.

To make this legal, yes, there were geophytes growing near the North 
American natives in far off lands. I recall some nice Arisaema 
consanguineum mixed in with the opuntias in China, and albucas were 
common companions for the agaves in South Africa. So there.

NW of Boston
8 inches of rain last Saturday, with a foot of water in the greenhouse, 
no harm done.

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