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Photographer's Note

If you travel through the Karoo, you may notice a giant plant with blue-green leaves and, sometimes, a towering stalk adorned with pretty yellow flowers.
This is the sisal plant, also known as Agave Americana and is the only plant of value that grows in the arid Karoo and that can also grow on eroded soil. In the early 1900s, Agave plants were distributed throughout South Africa for erosion control and as a fodder crop in droughts.
More recently research has been conducted into using the sisal fibre for paper production and insulin* (a treatment for diabetes). Easy to cultivate, plantations of sisal could create work for some of the 60% unemployed in the Karoo.
For a short while the plant was used as a substitute for the agave "Tequila" but production of a S. African version of the famous Mexican drink was unsuccessful.

*Up to 25% of the weight of a plant is made up of insulin.

This shot was taken on the N9 between Graaff-Reinet and Middelburg

This photograph is copyright of Rosemary Walden - © Rosemary Walden 2012. All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of the image in any form is prohibited. You may not, except with my express written permission, copy, reproduce, download, distribute or exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Rosemary Walden (SnapRJW) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2806 W: 84 N: 6959] (31631)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2012-09-13
  • Categories: Nature
  • Exposure: f/16, 1/250 seconds
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2013-02-08 6:18
Viewed: 3849
Points: 52
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Additional Photos by Rosemary Walden (SnapRJW) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2806 W: 84 N: 6959] (31631)
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