Garden Alphabet: Agave americana

Agave americana

These agave are prominent all over the Southwest and used extensively in desert landscapes and even in the middle of lawns. Their large size and fairly long life make them a striking focal point of any garden. These agave are found on the grounds of the nearby Los Encinos State Historic Park, one of the original ranchos founded by the Spanish when they settled what was then called Alta California.

Garden Alphabet: Agave americana

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Agave americanacommon names century plantmaguey or American aloe,[4] is a species of flowering plant in the family Agavaceae, originally native to MexicoArizona and Texas but cultivated worldwide as an ornamental plant. It has become naturalized in many regions including the West Indies, parts of South America, the Mediterranean Basin, parts of AfricaIndiaChina,KoreaThailandNew ZealandAustralia and an assortment of oceanic islands.[5]

Despite the common name “American aloe”, it is not closely related to plants in the genus Aloe.

Although it is called the century plant, it typically lives only 10 to 30 years. It has a spread of about 4 ft (1.2 m) with gray-green leaves up to 2 ft (0.6 m) long, each with a prickly margin and a heavy spike at the tip that can pierce to the bone. When it flowers, the spike has big yellow flowers and may reach a total height of up to 25–30 ft (8–9 m) tall.

Its common name derives from its semelparous nature of flowering only once at the end of its long life. The plant dies after flowering, but produces suckers or adventitious shoots from the base, which continue its growth.[6] — Wikipedia

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