The common name of this plant is the Century Plant. It originated in Mexico but now has been introduced to desert areas all over the world. It lives between 10 and 30 years - not 100. It probably got this name because it is a semelparous plant. Meaning that once it blossoms, it dies. The agave plant itself is a rosette with gray green leaves that come to a very sharp point.
It's blossom is a magnificent stalk that can grow to up to about 28 feet in a very short period of time. On the stalk are beautiful red/yellow flowers that provide delightful food for birds. Many people like to keep the dead stalk it the their yards to decorate seasonally or just be a perch for birds. This beauty was in out common area but unfortunately the landscaper cut it and took it away.