Summary details for Agave americana

American agave

Agave americana

Common names: American agave (English); Garingboom (Afrikaans)

Origin: Central America

Description

Very big succulent with thick, tough leaves forming a rosette at the base; leaf rosette up to 2m high; flowering stem, up to 9m high. Leaves waxy grey-green to blue-green, sometimes with yellow margins or central markings; margin toothed, usually fiercely, with curved spines; tip forming a thick, sharp point. When flowering a large, asparagus-like stalk grows from the centre and rounded cushions of tubular yellow flowers with prominent stamens develop on horizontal branches near the top, as well as at the tip. Fruit a brown capsule containing flattish seeds.

Discussion

Planted as an ornamental as well as for security and fodder. A popular bee plant. Very high invasive potential because it multiplies by means of suckers and is very drought tolerant.  Readily invades drainage lines as well as dry, rocky habitats.

Agave americana
Agave americana © Photo: Coleen Mannheimer
Agave americana
Agave americana © Photo: Coleen Mannheimer
Agave americana
Agave americana © Photo: Coleen Mannheimer
Agave americana
Agave americana © Photo: Coleen Mannheimer
Agave americana
Agave americana © Photo: Coleen Mannheimer