Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Agave americana


American century plant, Century plant


Agavaceae (Century-Plant Family)



Agave americana (American century plant)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Very large, handsome evergreen lily-like blue-green foliage. Xeric qualities and a stunning bloom stalk with maturity at ten years or more. Makes a great landscape focal point or accent and can be used in pots away from foot traffic. Best in full sun, but can take light shade. Winter damage occurs after low winter teen temperatures and is persistent on leaf surfaces until it recovers.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Size Notes: 6-12 feet.
Leaf: Green to blue-green color with interesting patern on back side.
Fruit: Brown
Size Class: 6-12 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul
Bloom Notes: The bloom spike height ranges from 12-25 +. Bloom time trigger mechanism is not well understood, but this agave generally blooms at about 10 years of age.

Distribution

USA: AZ , CA , HI , LA , TX

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Rocky Soil
Conditions Comments: American century plant is large beautiful agave with sharp leaf tip spines. It is prominent in the landscape and best used in mass or as focal point. It also does well in pot (large) culture. It benefits from some extra moisture in very dry conditions, but is very tolerant of heat and xeric conditions. It can take light shade better than some other agaves. But should be protected from teen winter temperatures to avoid damage.

Benefit

Use Ornamental: Showy growth habit, Blooms ornamental, Accent shrub, Attractive
Use Wildlife: Nectar-hummingbirds, Nectar-insects, Seeds-granivorous birds, Seeds-Small mammals, protective habitat plant for birds and small animals
Warning: The sharp pointed spines on leaf tip can be a hazard to humans and pets if plant is not placed in landscape with care away from foot traffic
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Last Update: 2010-06-07