In the late 1890s, Leland Stanford, founder of Stanford University, commissioned landscape architect Rudolf Ulrich to design a private garden in the fashion of the day. Exotic plants were all the rage, cacti and succulent plants in particular. Today the garden is maintained by volunteers - of which I am one - and regularly delights visitors with displays such as this one. This is a flower cluster on an Agave americana. The flowering stem of these plants can be over 20 feet high. This is just one small arm of that flowering stem.