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Maguey Agave americana

Phonetic Spelling
ah-GAH-vay a-mer-ih-KAY-na
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

American century plant is a rosette-forming herbaceous perennial succulent in the Asparagaceae family.  The common name arose because it was once thought it took 100 years for the plant to flower.  It does not take quite that long, more like 10-25 years, but once it does flower the main plant dies. When it blooms, it sends up a single flowering stalk from the center of the leaves reaching 15-30' tall or more. The flowering stalk resembles a narrow telephone pole with horizontal branching near the top. Greenish-yellow flowers (each to 3-4" long) bloom in panicles at the branch ends. As the plant is flowering, vegetative offsets appear at the base of the mother plant so this plant is easily propagated.  Its striking sculptural form makes it a great specimen or accent plant for winter interest in a garden.  This plant is highly salt tolerant.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious insect or disease problems. Agave weevil can be troublesome. Slugs and snails may damage foliage. Root rot may occur, particularly in poorly-drained or overly-moist soils.

Propagation: Seed, vegetative offsets

Soil: Dry, sandy, good drainage

 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Houseplants, Succulents, and Cacti", a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.

More information on Agave.

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See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • var. medio-picta 'Alba'
    Variegated white and green
  • 'Yellow Ribbons'
    Yellow stripes
var. medio-picta 'Alba', 'Yellow Ribbons'
Tags:
#full sun tolerant#perennials#specimen#succulent#green flowers#yellow flowers#salt tolerant#winter interest#accent plant#stripes
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • var. medio-picta 'Alba'
    Variegated white and green
  • 'Yellow Ribbons'
    Yellow stripes
var. medio-picta 'Alba', 'Yellow Ribbons'
Tags:
#full sun tolerant#perennials#specimen#succulent#green flowers#yellow flowers#salt tolerant#winter interest#accent plant#stripes
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Agave
    Species:
    americana
    Family:
    Asparagaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mexico and Southwestern United States
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    dry and sandy soil, pests, diseases, salt tolerant
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Succulent
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    When it blooms, it sends up a single flowering stalk from the center of the leaves reaching 15-30' tall or more. The flowering stalk resembles a narrow telephone pole with horizontal branching near the top. Greenish-yellow flowers (each to 3-4" long) bloom in panicles at the branch ends. As the plant is flowering, vegetative offsets appear at the base of the dying mother plant so this plant is easily propagated. Its striking sculptural form makes it a great specimen or accent plant for winter interest in a garden.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Fleshy
    Smooth
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblanceolate
    Spatulate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Rosettes of stemless, long, fleshy leaves, spatulate to oblanceolate in shape.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Pool/Hardscape
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Diseases
    Dry Soil
    Insect Pests
    Salt
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Poison part: Plant sap from leaves
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Unknown
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Leaves
    Sap/Juice