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Encyclopedia > Agave
Wikipedia:How to read a taxobox
How to read a taxobox
Agave
Agave americana (Century Plant)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Family: Agavaceae
Genus: Agave
L.
Species

see text. See also full listing. Photo of century plant (Agave americana aureo-marginata) at Desert Demonstration Garden in Las Vegas, taken May 2004 by User: Stan Shebs File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Binomial name Agave americana L. The Century Plant or the American Century Plant (Agave americana) is an Mexico but cultivated worldwide. ... For other uses, see Scientific classification (disambiguation). ... Divisions Green algae Chlorophyta Charophyta Land plants (embryophytes) Non-vascular plants (bryophytes) Marchantiophyta - liverworts Anthocerotophyta - hornworts Bryophyta - mosses Vascular plants (tracheophytes) †Rhyniophyta - rhyniophytes †Zosterophyllophyta - zosterophylls Lycopodiophyta - clubmosses †Trimerophytophyta - trimerophytes Pteridophyta - ferns and horsetails Seed plants (spermatophytes) †Pteridospermatophyta - seed ferns Pinophyta - conifers Cycadophyta - cycads Ginkgophyta - ginkgo Gnetophyta - gnetae Magnoliophyta - flowering plants... It has been suggested that Angiospermae, and Anthophyta be merged into this article or section. ... Liliopsida is the botanical name for a class. ... Families according to the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group Agapanthus Agavaceae Alliaceae Amaryllidaceae Aphyllanthaceae Asparagaceae Asphodelaceae Asteliaceae Blandfordiaceae Boryaceae Doryanthaceae Hemerocallidaceae Hyacinthaceae Hypoxidaceae Iridaceae Ixioliriaceae Lanariaceae Laxmanniaceae Orchidaceae Ruscaceae Tecophilaeaceae Themidaceae Xanthorrhoea Xeronema Asparagales is an order of monocots which includes a number of families of non-woody plants. ... Genera See text Agavaceae is a family of plants that includes many well-known desert and dry zone types such as the agave, yucca, and Joshua tree. ... Carolus Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as  , (May 23, 1707 – January 10, 1778), was a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist[1] who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of nomenclature. ... In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biodiversity. ... This is a list of species, varieties and cultivars of genus Agave. ...

Agaves are succulent plants of a large botanical genus of the same name, belonging to the family Agavaceae. Chiefly Mexican, they occur also in the southern and western United States and in central and tropical South America. The plants have a large rosette of thick fleshy leaves generally ending in a sharp point and with a spiny margin; the stout stem is usually short, the leaves apparently springing from the root. Along with plants from the related genus Yucca, various Agave species are popular ornamental plants. Each rosette is monocarpic and grows slowly to flower only once. During flowering a tall stem or "mast" grows from the center of the leaf rosette and bears a large number of shortly tubular flowers. After development of fruit the original plant dies, but suckers are frequently produced from the base of the stem which become new plants. It is a common misconception that Agaves are a cactus. This plant is actually related to the lily and amaryllis families and as such has its own genus. Succulent plants, such as this Aloe, store water in their fleshy leaves Succulent plants, also known as succulents or fat plants, are water-retaining plants adapted to xerophilic climatic or soil conditions. ... Divisions Green algae Chlorophyta Charophyta Land plants (embryophytes) Non-vascular plants (bryophytes) Marchantiophyta - liverworts Anthocerotophyta - hornworts Bryophyta - mosses Vascular plants (tracheophytes) †Rhyniophyta - rhyniophytes †Zosterophyllophyta - zosterophylls Lycopodiophyta - clubmosses †Trimerophytophyta - trimerophytes Pteridophyta - ferns and horsetails Seed plants (spermatophytes) †Pteridospermatophyta - seed ferns Pinophyta - conifers Cycadophyta - cycads Ginkgophyta - ginkgo Gnetophyta - gnetae Magnoliophyta - flowering plants... Genera See text Agavaceae is a family of plants that includes many well-known desert and dry zone types such as the agave, yucca, and Joshua tree. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... A rosette of leaves at the base of a dandelion In botany, a rosette is a circular arrangement of the leaves, with all the leaves at a single height. ... Species many, see text For the potato-like vegetable, see yuca. ... A plant that flowers and sets seed and then dies. ...


Agave species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Batrachedra striolata, which has been recorded on A shawii. A larva (Latin; plural larvae) is a juvenile form of animal with indirect development, undergoing metamorphosis (for example, insects or amphibians). ... Superfamilies Butterflies Hesperioidea Papilionoidea Moths Acanthopteroctetoidea Alucitoidea Axioidea Bombycoidea Calliduloidea Choreutoidea Cossoidea Drepanoidea Epermenioidea Eriocranioidea Galacticoidea Gelechioidea Geometroidea Gracillarioidea Hedyloidea Hepialoidea Heterobathmioidea Hyblaeoidea Immoidea Incurvarioidea Lasiocampoidea Lophocoronoidea Micropterigoidea Mimallonoidea Mnesarchaeoidea Neopseustoidea Nepticuloidea Noctuoidea Palaephatoidea Pterophoroidea Pyraloidea Schreckensteinioidea Sesioidea Simaethistoidea Thyridoidea Tineoidea Tischerioidea Tortricoidea Urodoidea Whalleyanoidea Yponomeutoidea Zygaenoidea The order Lepidoptera... Species See text Batrachedridae is a small family of moths. ...

Contents

Commonly grown species

The most commonly grown species include Agave americana, Agave angustifolia and Agave attenuata. Binomial name Agave americana L. The Century Plant or the American Century Plant (Agave americana) is an Mexico but cultivated worldwide. ... Binomial name Agave angustifolia Haw. ... Binomial name Agave attenuata Salm 1834 Agave attenuata is a species of agave sometimes known as the lions tail, swans neck, or foxtail for its development of a curved stem, unusual among agaves. ...


Agave americana

Main article: Agave americana

One of the most familiar species is Agave americana, a native of tropical America. Common names include Century Plant, Maguey (in Mexico), or American Aloe (it is not, however, closely related to the genus Aloe). The name "Century Plant" refers to the long time the plant takes to flower, although the number of years before flowering occurs depends on the vigor of the individual, the richness of the soil and the climate; during these years the plant is storing in its fleshy leaves the nourishment required for the effort of flowering. Binomial name Agave americana L. The Century Plant or the American Century Plant (Agave americana) is an Mexico but cultivated worldwide. ... Binomial name Agave americana L. The Century Plant or the American Century Plant (Agave americana) is an Mexico but cultivated worldwide. ... Species See Species For other uses, see Aloe (disambiguation). ...


Agave americana, century plant, was introduced into Europe about the middle of the 16th century and is now widely cultivated for its handsome appearance; in the variegated forms the leaf has a white or yellow marginal or central stripe from base to apex. As the leaves unfold from the center of the rosette the impression of the marginal spines is very conspicuous on the still erect younger leaves. The tequ plants are usually grown in tubs and put out in the summer months, but in the winter require protection from frost. They mature very slowly and die after flowering, but are easily propagated by the offsets from the base of the stem.


Agave attenuata

Main article: Agave attenuata

A. attenuata is a native of central Mexico and is uncommon in its natural habitat. Unlike most species of Agave, A. attenuata has a curved flower spike from which it derives one of its numerous common names - the foxtail agave. Binomial name Agave attenuata Salm 1834 Agave attenuata is a species of agave sometimes known as the lions tail, swans neck, or foxtail for its development of a curved stem, unusual among agaves. ...


A. attenuata is also commonly grown as a garden plant. Unlike many agaves, A. attenuata has no teeth or terminal spines making it an ideal plant for areas adjacent to footpaths. Like all agaves, A. attenuata is a succulent and requires little water or maintenance once established .


Uses

the large flower spike of Agave chiapensis
the large flower spike of Agave chiapensis
  • During the development of the inflorescence there is a rush of sap to the base of the young flowerstalk. In the case of A. americana and other species, this is used by the Mexicans to make their national beverage, pulque.
  • The flower shoot is cut out and the sap collected and subsequently fermented. By distillation, a spirit called mezcal is prepared; one of the most well-known forms of mezcal is tequila. In 2001 the Mexican Government and European Union agreed the classification of tequila and its categories. 100% Blue Agave Tequila must be made from the Weber Blue Agave plant, to rigorous specifications and only in certain Mexican states.
  • The leaves of several species yield fiber: for instance, Agave rigida var. sisalana, sisal hemp, Agave decipiens, False Sisal Hemp. Agave americana is the source of pita fiber and is used as a fiber plant in Mexico, the West Indies and southern Europe.
  • When dried and cut in slices, the flowering stem forms natural razor strops, and the expressed juice of the leaves will lather in water like soap.
  • The Native Americans of Mexico used the agave to make pens, nails and needles, as well as string to sew and make weavings. In India the plant is extensively used for hedges along railroads.
  • Agave syrup (also called agave nectar) has been used as an alternative to sugar in cooking.

Download high resolution version (300x735, 88 KB)Photo of Agave chiapensis at Strybing Arboretum, taken July 2004 by User:Stan Shebs File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Download high resolution version (300x735, 88 KB)Photo of Agave chiapensis at Strybing Arboretum, taken July 2004 by User:Stan Shebs File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Binomial name Agave chiapensis Jacobi 1866 Agave chiapensis is a species of agave. ... Pulque, or octili, is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of the maguey, and is a traditional native beverage of Mesoamerica. ... A bottle of Mexican Mezcal bought in Cancun. ... Various brands of tequila Tequila is a spirit made primarily in the area surrounding Tequila, a town in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, 65 km northwest of Guadalajara. ... Binomial name Agave sisalana Perrine Sisal or sisal hemp is an agave Agave sisalana that yields a stiff fiber used in making rope. ... The Caribbean or the West Indies is a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea. ... World map showing Europe A satellite composite image of Europe Europe is one of the seven traditional continents of the Earth. ... Two bottles of agave syrup Agave syrup (also called agave nectar) is a sweetener made from the Agave americana plant, and marketed as a healthful natural sugar substitute. ... Magnification of typical sugar showing monoclinic hemihedral crystalline structure. ...

Ethnomedical Uses

Tea leaves in a Chinese gaiwan. ... In medicine, a tincture is an alcoholic extract (e. ... Constipation or irregularity, is a condition of the digestive system where a person (or animal) experiences hard feces that are difficult to eliminate; it may be extremely painful, and in severe cases (fecal impaction) lead to symptoms of bowel obstruction. ... A diuretic (colloquially called a water pill) is any drug or herb that elevates the rate of bodily urine excretion (diuresis). ... In medicine, a tincture is an alcoholic extract (e. ... Arthritis (from Greek arthro-, joint + -itis, inflammation; plural: arthritides) is a group of conditions where there is damage caused to the joints of the body. ...

Warnings

  • The juice from many species of agave can cause acute contact dermatitis. It will produce reddening and blistering lasting one to two weeks. Episodes of itching may recur up to a year thereafter, even though there is no longer a visible rash. Irritation is, in part, caused by calcium oxalate raphides. Dried parts of the plants can be handled with bare hands with little or no effect.

Dermatitis is a blanket term literally meaning inflammation of the skin. It is usually used to refer to eczema, which is also known as Dermatitis eczema. ... Calcium oxalate is a chemical compound that forms needle-shaped crystals. ... Raphides are needle-shaped crystals of calcium carbonate or calcium oxalate found in specialized plant cells called idioblasts. ...

Taxonomy

Agaves were once classified in Liliaceae, but most references now include them in their own family, Agavaceae. Genera Calochortus Cardiocrinum Clintonia Erythronium Fritillaria Gagea Korolkowia Lilium Lloydia Nomocharis Notholirion Scoliopus Streptopus Tricyrtis Tulipa The Liliaceae, or the Lily Family, is an important family of monocotyledons that includes a great number of ornamental flowers as well as several important agricultural crops; the onion has traditionally been classified here... Genera See text Agavaceae is a family of plants that includes many well-known desert and dry zone types such as the agave, yucca, and Joshua tree. ...


Agaves have long presented special difficulties for taxonomy; variations within a species may be considerable, and a number of named species are of unknown origin and may just be variants of original wild species. Taxonomy, sometimes alpha taxonomy, is the science of finding, describing and naming organisms, thus giving rise to taxa. ...


Spanish and Portuguese explorers probably brought agave plants back to Europe with them, but the plants became popular in Europe during the 19th century when many types were imported by collectors. Some have been continuously propagated by offset since then, and do not consistently resemble any species known in the wild, although this may simply be due to the differences in growing conditions in Europe.


Images of Agave species or cultivars

Species

There are many species of Agave, see the List of Agave species. This is a list of species, varieties and cultivars of genus Agave. ...


References

  • Howard Scott Gentry, Agaves of Continental North America (University of Arizona Press, 1982), the standard work, with accounts of 136 species
  • IPNI : The International Plant Name Index

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