Plant ID forum: Need Identification Help

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Dgerre1
Oct 17, 2016 11:31 AM CST
I have 3+ of these in the front garden of a home I just purchased. I'm trying to figure out what they are as I am considering removing them. Is this a plant that I should just remove and throw away or do these hold any value? My main concern is safety. Each "leaf" (as you can tell, I know nothing about plants) has one large and extremely sharp spike on the end. Sharp enough that it went through the sole of my shoe and threw my jeans on numerous occasions. These are right at eye level for kids and and worried about someone getting seriously hurt.

Anyway, short version...can anyone identify this?




Thumb of 2016-10-17/Dgerre1/d91782
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Oct 17, 2016 11:43 AM CST
It is a type of Agave. If you look under/around the plant you will find many 'babies' that are easy to move/give away/relocate.

People either love or hate this type of plant. (I love them.) If you have small children or pets the pointy bits can be dangerous. I have been stabbed many times while weeding the garden.
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Name: Dave Paul
Puna, HI (Zone 10b)
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Metrosideros
Oct 17, 2016 12:29 PM CST
Looks like Agave americana, Century Plant.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agave_americana
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Oct 17, 2016 1:43 PM CST
I agree Agave americana

They are planted as security fences.

Dgerre1
Oct 17, 2016 2:00 PM CST
Thanks for the information! That makes sense because the previous owner was a LEO so security was always on his mind. These plants (along with other types of cacti) are under all of the windows.

If I decide to get rid of them, should I try to sell/donate them to anyone or are they common and don't have much value (either monetary or because of their maturation)?
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Oct 17, 2016 3:19 PM CST
I agree, Agave (Agave americana)

I'm not sure about value but some folks may like spiny, thorny plants so you could always try to sell them locally. You might check with contractors or landscaping companies in your area to ask if they ever use them in new home landscaping ... maybe someone would be willing to buy them from you. They are pretty but dangerous in my opinion. Good luck with removal and sales!
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Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
Oct 17, 2016 3:40 PM CST
A. americana is a very common plant and that specimen is not even close to mature size yet, if my dimension estimate from the picture is correct.

Mature A. americana are on the order of 5-6 feet tall with circumference on the order of 8-10 feet. So they have quite some life ahead of them, so these plants could be worth something to somebody. In our neck of the woods if you would want to buy a plant of that size you could probably find them for about ~$100, but if this is a common plant where you are it might be hard to get someone to fork that over as they are so easy to grow from small pups.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
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Shadegardener
Oct 20, 2016 9:58 AM CST
I've heard of folks growing yuccas who cut off the spiky tips to prevent possible injury. Can this also be done with Agave?
Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
Oct 20, 2016 10:27 AM CST
Yes, you can cut the terminal spines off the leaves, but with Agaves there is usually the second issue of all the teeth along the leaf edges, which are not as easily dealt with. They are also a little less dangerous unless you need to be in between the leaves of the plant, but they can do a lot of damage if you are not careful around them.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Oct 20, 2016 1:47 PM CST
Yeah...forgot about those.

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