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botanical name:
Agave parryi
Agave parryi © Deeproot Plant Base
common name:  Century plant, Parry's Agave, Mescal Plant
family:  Asparagaceae
characteristics: perennial, evergreen
height: 0.50m
width: 1.00m
growth rate: slow
growth habit: spiky
leaf colour: blue-grey
flower colour: yellow
main season: All Year
edible symbol edible
aspect: full sun
conditions: dry soil, sandy soil, coastal
preferred soil pH: any
minimum temp: -15°C
USDA zone: 5 to 10
description:
Desert succulent making substantial but relatively compact rossetes of thick glaucous grey-blue leaves, edged and tipped by sharp dark brown or near black spines.
Mature plants may produce a tall stem with clusters of creamy yellow flowers. After flowering the main plant will die, though usually leaving side offshoots to make new plants.
One of the hardiest varieties.

cultivation:
Sharply drained soil in sun. Very tolerant of long periods of drought. Will survive cold winters in dry conditions, but not in wet soil.
Monocarpic, usually taking 10 to 15 years to flower in the wild.

propagation:
By the freely produced offsets. Also fom seed.

usage:
The central heart of the plant is edible baked, being sweet and nutritious but rather fibrous. The seed, young flower stalks and sap are also edible. Can also be fermented to make the alcoholic drink 'Mescal'.

other notes:
From the south-west of North America, Arizona to New Mexico.

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