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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Agave americana L.
American century plant, Century plant
Agavaceae (Century-Plant Family)
USDA Symbol: agam
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.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: 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:
Bloom InformationBloom 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.
Growing ConditionsWater 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.
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:
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Description: Division by offshoot of pups, seed
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Removal of old lower leaves or dead plants can be difficult due to size and leaf tip spines.
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Drought-tolerant shrub for privacy screen
November 23, 2007
Is there some kind of drought resistant bush or thorny plant we can rim our property with to stop all the foot traffic through our yard? We don't care if it's pretty, just something thick and/or th...
view the full question and answer
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2010-06-07
Research By: TWC Staff