FloraFinder.org
Home   About Us   Want to Help?   FAQ  
Searching   Image Use Biblio

Agave americana

Agave americana L.

Agave complicata Trelease ex Ocherterana

Agave gracilispina Engelmann

Agave melliflua Trelease

Agave zonata Trelease

Agave felina Trelease

Agave rasconensis Trelease

Agave subzonata Trelease

Century Plant, American Century Plant

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassLiliidaeIncludes lilies, orchids, and many others
OrderAsparagalesA diverse group that includes asparagus
FamilyAsparagaceaeAgaves, asparagus, hyacinths, and others
GenusAgaveFrom Greek, meaning “noble”
Speciesamericana“From America”

About plant names...

These striking plants have a rounded array of sharply pointed, blue-gray leaves at the bottom, and an amazing flowering stalk that can reach as much as 26' (8 m) in height, way above the leaves. The leaves can reach 6' (1.8 m) in length; the rosette can be 13' (4.0 m) in diameter. They are extremely tolerant of drought.

Identification: These plants are named in the partially mistaken belief that they take a century to bloom, and die after the first bloom. It really does take about ten years to bloom under ideal circumstances, and up to 60 in cooler climates. And it really does die after it blooms, although shoots from the main plant continue to grow. Hence waiting for the unmistakable large stalk of yellow flowers may require more patience than you have. It is unusually large size, 6-10' (1.8-3 m) . Leaves are 3-6½' (1-2 m) long and 6-10" (15-25 cm) wide. They are smooth and very rigid, gray-green or bluish, with dark brown teeth along the edges. Yellow blooms appear on stalks 16-26' (5-8 m) high, branched at the top into 15-35 branches.

Edibility: Sap from broken leaves causes painful irritation or severe dermatitis. Indians of pre-Columbian Mexico cut the flower stems before they flowered, and collected a liquid that they fermented.

Online References:

Agave americana on Wikipedia

Agave americana on FLORIDATA

Agave americana on the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M University, Texas A&M System

Agave americana as Compiled by the Master Gardeners of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension

Agave americana on Cactus Art: the World of Cacti & Succulents

Agave americana at the University of Connecticut Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Plant Growth Facilities

Agave americana on Wikimedia Commons

Agave americana on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Agave americana at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Agave americana on SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network

References:

Irish, Mary & Irish, Gary, Agaves, Yuccas and Related Plants: A Gardener’s Guide, Timber Press, 2000, p. 94-97

Ingram, Stephen, Cacti, Agaves and Yuccas of California and Nevada, Cachuma Press, 2008, p. 185

Agave americana (Century Plant, American Century Plant)

5/24/2009 · Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ

Agave americana (Century Plant, American Century Plant)

5/24/2009 · Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ
≈ 32 × 21" (81 × 54 cm)

Agave americana (Century Plant, American Century Plant)

5/24/2009 · Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ
≈ 7 × 10' (2.1 × 3.2 m)

Agave americana (Century Plant, American Century Plant)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD
≈ 31 × 46" (78 × 117 cm)

Agave americana description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 17 Oct 2013.

© FloraFinder.org. All rights reserved.


 

Agave americana (Century Plant, American Century Plant)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD
≈ 31 × 46" (78 × 117 cm)

Agave americana (Century Plant, American Century Plant)

9/7/2010 · Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, MA
≈ 31 × 46" (78 × 117 cm)

Range: Zones 8a-11:

About this map...