Agave americana


Description: 

The Agave americana is likely the most common ornamental Agave cultivated worldwide. The plant's exact origin is uncertain, however, the most likely culprit is the arid regions of Mexico along with certain regions of the United States (i.e., New Mexico, Arizona and Texas). It is a polymorphic species (a discontinuous genetic variation resulting in the occurrence of several different forms or types of individuals among the members of a single species), cultivated worldwide in many variants.

The Agave americana is a medium to large, solitary or freely suckering Agave. At full maturity, its basal rosette can reach a width of up to approximately 8'. Its leaves are often reflexed above the middle, a characteristic feature specific to this species. This Agave's leaves are both thick and large, lanceolate (of a narrow oval shape tapering to a point at each end). They become narrower above the thickened base, often covering much of the stem. Leaves typically become the broadest right above the midway point.

Leaves are a beautiful light grey-green to grey-blue color. They are smooth to slightly asperous (rough/rugged/uneven). Sharp spines are located on both the margins and tips. Margins undulate (wavy surface/edge), to crenate (having a round-toothed or scalloped edge). Marginal teeth are variable in size and are brown to pruinose-grey in color. Additionally, teeth are recurved, resembling a fishhook. The tip of each needle is conical (having the shape of a cone), to subulate. Needles, like the plant's teeth, are shiny brown to pruinose-grey in color.

The Agave americana's flowers are slender, erect and vary between 2 1/2 - 4 inches in length. They are yellow-green in color. Tepals are yellow, tubular and funnel-shaped. Lobes are pale yellow-green to pale-amber in color. Anthers are linear and yellow in color.

This Agave has a long history of medicinal use. Its sap is used as a diuretic and laxative. Juice from its leaves are applied to bruises and taken orally for indigestion, flatulence, constipation, jaundice and dysentery. Finally, tinctures are prepared as a sleep aid.

**The Cactus King never recommends using a plant medicinally without first speaking to a licensed medical professional**

The Agave americana has also been cultivated as a food crop. The flower stalks along with the plant's pena are sweet, and can be roasted and eaten. Seeds are ground into flour to make bread and to use as a thickener for soups. As you may have guessed, this Agave is also used to brew alcoholic drinks. If the flower stem is cut without flowering, a sweet liquid called "agua miel" (honey water), gathers in the heart of the plant. This may then be fermented to produce a beer-like drink called "pulque." When pulque is distilled, mezcal is the end result.

Attributes:

1. Attracts hummingbirds
2. Provides a protective habitat for birds and small animals
3. Attracts nectar-insects
4. Provides seeds to granivorous birds and small mammals
5. Deer resistant - moderate

Synonyms:

1. Agave americana subsp. americana
2. Agave complicata
3. Agave altissima

Plant Details
USDA Zone Information: 
7
Family: 
Agavaceae
Flower : 
Yellow-green
Ideal Light Conditions: 
sun
Ideal Water Conditions: 
little to none
Speed of Growth: 
slow
One Year of Growth: 
6-12 inches
Mature Height: 
4 feet
Mature Width: 
8 feet
Latin Name: 
Agave americana
Common Name: 
Century Plant, American Aloe, Blue Agave, Spiked Aloe, Flowering Aloe, American Century, American Agave, American Century Plant, Century Plant

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Corporate Clients (The King hangs hard)

Movies:

RoboCop (1987)
RoboCop 2 (1990)
Hot Pursuit (2015)

Television:

USA Network's Queen of the South (2019)

Botanical Gardens:

New York Botanical Gardens
Oklahoma City Zoo/Botanical Gardens
Mercer Arboretum in Houston, Texas
Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Zoos:

Houston, TX Zoo
San Antonio, TX Zoo

Other Clientele:

Houston, TX Rodeo

The Cactus King's cacti and succulents have gone international! If you ever find yourself in China with a little spare time, head to the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom. It is the largest Aquarium in the world (no big deal, pun definitely intended).

The Cactus King's plants are also featured in the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom's partner parks. These include their water park, amusement park, crocodile park and botanical gardens.

Wholesale/Retail Hours

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Sunday:
Closed

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Addresses & Contact Information

Physical Address (IN-PERSON VISITS):
7900 I-45N
Houston TX, 77037

We're located directly next to the Tajj Inn.
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Mailing Address (WEB ORDER PAYMENTS):

Lyn Rathburn
PO Box 16099
Houston, TX 77222

Please make checks/money orders out to "Lyn Rathburn."
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(281) 591-8833 or
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