AGAVE , a large botanical genus of the natural
See also:order Amaryllidaceae, chiefly Mexican, but occurring also in the
See also:southern and western
See also:United States and in central and tropical South
See also:America . The
See also:plants have a large rosette of thick fleshy leaves generally ending in a
See also:sharp point and with a spiny margin; the stout
See also:stem is usually
See also:short, the leaves apparently springing from the
See also:root . They grow slowly and flower but once after a number of years, when a tall stem or "
See also:mast " grows from the centre of the
See also:leaf-rosette and bears a large number of shortly tubular
See also:flowers . After development of fruit the plant
See also:dies down, but suckers are frequently produced from the
See also:base of the stem which become new plants . The most
See also:species is Agave americana (see fig.), a native of tropical America, the so-called century plant or
See also:aloe (the maguey of Mexico) . The .number of years before flowering occurs depends on the vigour of the individual, the richness of the
See also:soil and the
See also:climate; during these years the plant is storing in its fleshy leaves the nourishment required for the effort of flowering . During the development of the inflor-escence there is a rush of
See also:sap to the base of the
See also:young flower-stalk . In the case of A. americana and other species this is used by the Mexicans to make their
See also:national beverage,
See also:pulque; the flower shoot is cut out and the sap collected and subsequently fermented . By
See also:distillation a spirit called mescal is prepared . The leaves of several species yield fibre, as for instance, A. rigida
See also:var. sisalana, sisal
See also:hemp (q.v.), A. decipiens, false sisal hemp; A. americana is the source of pita fibre, and is used as a fibre plant in Mexico, the West Indies and southern
See also:Europe . The flowering stem of the last named, dried and cut in slices, forms Agave americana, Century plant or American aloe . About 4 nat.
See also:size .
1, Flower; 2, same flower split open above the ovary; 3, ovary cut across; 1, 2, and 3, about i nat. size . From the Botanical
See also:Magazine, by permission of Lovell Reeve and Co . natural
See also:razor strops, and the expressed juice of the leaves will lather in
See also:water like
See also:soap . In the
See also:Presidency the plant is extensively used for hedges along railroads . Agave americana, century plant, was introduced into Europe about the
See also:middle of the 16th century and is now widely cultivated for its handsome appearance; in the variegated forms the leaf has a
See also:white or yellow marginal or central stripe from base to
See also:apex . As the leaves unfold from the centre of the rosette the impression of the marginal spines is very conspicuous on the still erect younger leaves . The plants are usually grown in tubs and put out in the summer months, but in the winter require to be protected from
See also:frost . They mature very slowly and die after flowering, but are easily propagated by the offsets from the base of the stem .
There are no comments yet for this article.
Do not copy, download, transfer, or otherwise replicate the site content in whole or in part.
Links to articles and home page are encouraged.