Agave sisalana Perrine


Plants large, freely suckering. Rosettes stemless, 1.5-2 m tall, 2-3 m wide. Leaves linear to lanceolate, ensiform, rigid, 90-130 cm long, 9-12 cm wide, light greyglaucous to green; margin entire or with forward-pointing hooked teeth 2.5-3 mm long, 6-24 mm apart; terminal spine 2-2.5 cm long. Inflorescence 5-6 m tall.


This species is widely cultivated outside of Australia for sisal hemp. The species was trialled in parts of Queensland in the late 1880s and early 1900s and plants persist in many places. It is occasionally cultivated in older gardens, public parks and vacant urban land.

A. vivipara L., Century Plant from Mexico is a large, freely suckering plant. Rosettes stemless, 1-1.5 m tall, 1.5-3 m wide. Leaves linear to lanceolate, ensiform, rigid, 60-120 cm long, 3.5-10 cm wide, light grey-glaucous to light green; margin toothed, teeth 2-5 mm long, 10-20 cm apart; terminal spine 1.5-3.5 cm long. Inflorescence 3-5 m tall. Syn. A. angustifolia Haw.

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.

Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Asparagales
family       Asparagaceae
genus        Agave L.