The Main Plant entry for Agaves (Agave)

This database entry exists to show plant data and photos that apply generically to all Agaves.

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruit: Dehiscent
Flowers: Showy
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Containers: Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth

Common names
  • Century Plant
  • Maguey

This plant is tagged in:
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  • Posted by Marilyn (Kentucky - Zone 6a) on May 21, 2013 9:31 PM concerning plant:
    "Agave is a genus of monocots. The plants are perennial, but each rosette flowers once and then dies (see semelparity). Some species are known by the name century plant.

    Chiefly Mexican, agaves are also native to the southern and western United States and central and tropical South America. They are succulents with a large rosette of thick, fleshy leaves, each ending generally in a sharp point and with a spiny margin; the stout stem is usually short, the leaves apparently springing from the root. Along with plants from the related genus Yucca, various Agave species are popular ornamental plants.

    It is a common misconception that agaves are cacti. They are not related to cacti, nor are they closely related to Aloe whose leaves are similar in appearance.

    Agave species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species, including Batrachedra striolata, which has been recorded on A. shawii.

    The juice from many species of agave can cause acute contact dermatitis. It will produce reddening and blistering lasting one to two weeks. Episodes of itching may recur up to a year thereafter, though the rash is no longer visible. Irritation is, in part, caused by calcium oxalate raphides. Dried parts of the plants can be handled with bare hands with little or no effect. If the skin is pierced deeply enough by the needle-like ends of the leaf from a vigorously growing plant, this can also cause blood vessels in the surrounding area to erupt and an area some 2.36 - 2.75 inches across appear to be bruised. This may last up to three weeks."

    Taken from wikipedia's page at:

  • Posted by KFredenburg (Black Hills, SD - Zone 5a) on Jun 17, 2020 1:44 PM concerning plant:
    Century plants require many years to flower, but not a century. They provided southwestern Indians with food, beverages, fiber, soap, medicine, and lances. Today the liquors mescal and tequila are made from the stem of the Mexican species. The alcoholic beverage pulque is made from the juice of this plant.
Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Beautiful ... by sheryl Nov 6, 2013 11:47 AM 1
ID question by Baja_Costero Jan 23, 2016 10:09 AM 1
ID question by Baja_Costero Feb 14, 2016 9:17 AM 3
I see the label but... by mcvansoest Feb 21, 2016 10:49 PM 3
ID question by Baja_Costero Dec 30, 2019 1:18 PM 4
ID question by Baja_Costero Aug 10, 2020 10:43 AM 4
ID question by Baja_Costero Aug 17, 2020 11:13 PM 6

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