- Common Name(s):
- Century plant
- Perennials, Poisonous Plants
Sometimes described as fierce and outspoken, agaves give great bones to the body of your garden, support gardening style in the heat of summer and keep their composure through winter rain and snow. Great structure, unique foliage, and a flower stalk that stretches 40 feet in the air are a few interesting features of agaves.
Often called “century plants,” this genus is comprised of succulent perennials that patiently grow and accumulate their reserves to put out one grand flower show. Flowering doesn’t take 100 years. They will typically hold out for five to ten seasons before producing a monstrously tall stalk of yellow flowers that is well worth the wait – a great gardening event! The offsets or “pups” are produced as the original expires.
Agaves are found native in the most challenging desert habitats of Mexico and the southwestern United States. They can survive the hottest, driest summer that North Carolina can bring. Agaves will benefit from as much sunshine as you can afford and respond well to fertilizer and water in the summer. Keep their feet from staying wet; agaves require very good drainage, especially during our cool, wet winters.
Sunny spots and rock gardens are great places for agaves. Larger species, such as Agave americana, grow five feet wide and produce tall flower spikes, while smaller versions and other species, such as Agave parryi, can display a more compact stature with equally beautiful, although slightly shorter, flower stalks. Select silver, blue, or variegated leaves and colorful spines to draw even more attention to this succulent, no matter the size.
- Flower Color:
- Full sun
- USA, Mexico
- Poison Part:
- Plant sap from leaves
- Poison Delivery Mode:
- Skin irritation. Immediate burning and redness with developing blisters
- Toxic Principle:
- Found in:
- Houseplant, hardy species in landscape, as cultivated ornamental
NCCES plant id: 945