agave guide

...identification of Agave species new

The genus Agave is part of the family Agavaceae. There are around 200 species in the genus. Most of these are from Mexico, although they occur in the southern United States and into South America.

Plants are characterized by forming rosettes of fleshy (succulent) leaves which have a sharp point or spine terminally. The leaf margins may be smooth or spiny.

Agave plants have been given the common name "Century Plant" because of their blooming habit. The idea is that the plants live for 100 years, bloom and die. While it is true that Agave are monocarpic, meaning they bloom once and then die, few species, if any, take a full 100 years to do this. When an Agave does bloom, it sends up a large flower stalk out of the center of the plant that grows very quickly. The height of the bloom stalk is often many times higher than the plant. This often catches people by surprise when the Agave they were growing in their garden for years, suddenly and rapidly goes through this transformation. This is often when they try to identify and learn more about their plant.

Because of the fleshy green succulent leaves and the sharp points, many people try to look up cactus or cacti when in fact it is an Agave they are searching for. The links below are excellent resources for learning more about Agave species and contain information, pictures, books, and succulent plant forums where you can quickly become aquatinted with the Agave family.

Family Agavaceae

Introduction to the Agave family.

Genus Agave

Look a species specifically in the genus Agave.

Other Succulents

View other succulent plant species.

Click here to view cactus plants.

Click here to view books on Agaves.

Explorer Hats

A source for awesome hats.

Other Great Book Sites -Books about bird watching and bird identification. - Books on aquatic life - both marine and freshwater. - Books on rocks and minerals. - Books on ornamental gardening. - Books on animal life -mammals, reptiles, insects, and more.

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