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botanical name:
Agave americana
Agave americana © Deeproot Plant Base    view larger image
common name:  Century plant, American Aloe
family:  Asparagaceae
characteristics: perennial, evergreen
height: 2.00m
width: 2.00m
growth rate: slow
growth habit: spiky
leaf colour: blue-green
flower colour: white
main season: All Year
edible symbol edible
medicinal symbol medicinal
aspect: full sun
conditions: dry soil, sandy soil, coastal
preferred soil pH: any
minimum temp: -6°C
USDA zone: 9 to 11
description:
Desert succulent with stiff sharply pointed and spiny edged blue green leaves. Large and strong growing in the right conditions, very dramatic. Ultimately produced a very tall flower spike, after which the main plant dies, but usually leaves behind numerous offshoots.

cultivation:
Sharply drained soil in sun. Very tolerant of long periods of drought. Hardy in mild locations and on very well drained soil.
Only flowers in warm climates. Small offsets may take 10 to 15 years to reach flowering size. Growth is much slower in cooler, temperate areas.


propagation:
Very easy by offsets. Also from seed.

usage:
A striking focal plant for mild climate gardens or planted in a large container. Needs careful positioning though as the spines are viscously sharp.
Can be planted to create an effective barrier hedge.
The Native Americans have long used the Agave for food and medicinal purposes.

other notes:
Native to Mexico. Now commonly found in Mediterranean areas.

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