Agave americana L.
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Agave americana is a succulent perennial.
Agave americana was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.
The perennials are comparatively slow-growing and reach heights of 1,8 to 2 metres. The plants reach a width of 0.6 to 1 metres.
Agave americana is evergreen. The mid-green, simple leaves are basal. They are lanceolate with spiny margins. The surface of the leaves is glabrous.
Flowers and Fruits
Agave americana produces cluster of yellow funnel-shaped flowers from July to August. The plants are hermaphroditic.
The perennials produce brown loculicidal capsules in autumn.
Agave americana is native to Mexico and is naturalized in the tropics and the Subtropics.
The perennials prefer a sunny situation on dry soil. They prefer sandy, gritty-sandy, sandy-loamy, gritty-loamy or sandy clay soil with a pH between 6 and 8. The plants need a soil depth of at least 76 centimetres for good growth. They tolerate temperatures down to -7Â°C (USDA zone 9).
Tolerance of special soil conditions
- none: drought
- low: calcareous soil
The ornamental value of Agave americana lies especially in the ornamental leaves. The recommended planting distance is 1,5 to 1,8 metres. Suited as container plant and as indoor plant.
Maintenance and Propagation
The plants usually require only a moderate amount of maintenance.
Pests and Diseases
Cankers indicate an infection with fireblight. Generously remove affected parts and destroy them.
Waxy fibres and honeydew on leaves and shoots indicate an infestation with mealybugs. Apply insecticide or control biologically with predatory ladybirds.
Scale insects that sit on the undersides of the leaves and excrete honeydew can be controlled with insecticide or biologically with parasitic wasps.
- Walter Erhardt, Erich GÃ¶tz, Nils BÃ¶deker, Siegmund Seybold: Der groÃe Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
- Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.