Food Sources for Lesser
At Selected Portions of Their Range
November through January:
There is a frost-free zone south of Sinaloa and Durango, Mexico. Tree morning
glories and wild tequila century plants bloom in the foothills of the Sierra
Madres as well as from nearby fields where the plants are cultivated as a cash
crop. Localities for these plants in bloom include Chapala, Jalisco and Infiernillo,
Michoacan. Peak blooming of these plants at these locations is over by the
end of April.
February through March:
In Sinaloa and in the "barrancas" of central and southern Sonoran,
nectar is available from flowers of the northern-most tree morning glories
and bacanora century plants. (The "barrancas" are similar to the
Grand Canyon. The local people make bootleg mescal, a local form of tequila,
from these century plants.) Localities for these plants in bloom include Pericos
and Concordia, Sinaloa.
Giant columnar cacti that Leptos are known to feed upon are in bloom in western
Mexico from the northern part of Sinaloa (Pericos) southward through the southern
part of Nayarit (Nayar). By early May, peak blooming in those areas for those
cacti is over. Agaves do not begin to flower in those areas until late May/early
The majority of the saguaro cacti are in bloom from southern Sonora, Mexico
northward into southern Arizona. Early May to late June is during the peak
of cactus flowering. Localities for these plants include Guaymas and Carbo
in Sonora and Ajo in Arizona. These cacti are not located in Portal, Arizona.
The fruit of the giant columnar cacti begin to ripen in the same
locations as are mentioned in May. In addition, Palmer and Parry's
agaves begin to bloom
in southeastern Arizona (Portal and Sierra vista) and southern New Mexico (Animas).
Each flowering stalk, or "panicle", of these agaves produces as much
as a cup of nectar! (These wild century plants were
historically a major food source for Mescalero Apaches.)
July and August:
In mid to late July, in the U.S., century plants are in bloom in the mountainous
regions of southwest Arizona (e.g. Portal and Sierra Vista); namely the Chiricahua
Mountains, Huachuca Mountains and the Santa Rita mountains. Near Ajo, Arizona,
the peak flowering and fruiting is past, although some are still produced.
Agaves are more scarce in this region. In Mexico, agaves that bats feed upon
bloom from July through late September/early October in the state of Sonora.
September and October:
Agaves in Arizona, New Mexico and northern Sonora have passed the peak flowering.
More agaves are now blooming in
southern Sonora, western Chihuahua, Durango and Jalisco (e.g. Chapala).