I also find myself really annoyed at them, because when they start doing this, it means they're going to die soon, and leave a hole in the landscape. Not a very big hole, but still, a hole. Heaven knows what I'd do if I ever grew an Agave that flowered. I think I'd be really pissed. (They die too, and they're a lot bigger.)
Sempervivums are monocarpic, which means they die after they flower. Before they flower, the whole plant, which until now has been a pretty rosette that itself resembles a flower, starts to elongate, and gets flower buds on the tip, that make it look kind of like a little monster with many eyes.
|Each of those is a bud that will open up into a tiny flower.|
|With my Whale's Tongue Agave -- it's just a little prick, but I hope one day it'll be a big one|
Geez, it's a good thing men don't die after "rising to the occasion." On the other hand, that would make the world an interestingly different place.