Agave L.

Greek agavos – noble or admirable.

Plants stemless, rosettes dying after monocarpic flowering. Leaves long-lived, fleshy to succulent, fibrous, linear-lanceolate to ovoid, spine-tipped. Inflorescence a terminal panicle, often bulbiferous. Flowers bisexual, campanulate, cream to green. Sepals and petals similar or dimorphic, fused to form a tube, tips free. Stamens 6, exserted. Ovary inferior, 3-locular. Fruit a dehiscent capsule. Seeds compressed, black.

Grown for the fleshy, spiked forms. Succulent plant collections may contain many additional species.

About 160 species in N and S America, but with a concentration of species in C America, particularly Mexico. 3 species are naturalised in Australia and about 6 are commonly cultivated.

Seeds or suckers, bulbils in some species.

Flowers with exserted stamens and with inferior ovary.

Trelease (1913), Gentry (1972, 1982), Forster (1986, 1987, 1992), Nobel (1994).

Source: Forster, P. (2005). Agavaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Asparagales
family       Asparagaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Agave americana L.
species         Agave attenuata Salm-Dyck
species         Agave filifera Salm-Dyck
species         Agave sisalana Perrine
species         Agave victoriae-reginae T.Moore