Spreading century plant

Spreading century plant

Agave Americana

Common Name:

Spreading century plant

Scientific Name:

Agave Americana


Alternative common names:

Agave, Agave cactus, American agave, Century-plant, maguey

Description:

Succulent shrub with a basal rosette of thick, heavy leaves up to 2 m high; suckers from the base; flowering pole 5-9 m tall. Leaves light grey, with toothed margins and terminal spine; leaves reflexed (as opposed to unreflexed in variety expansa); variegated forms have grey to dark green leaves with yellow or white margins and a central stripe.

Additional Information


Where does this species come from?

Mexico

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

Category 3 in Western Cape and Not listed elsewhere.

Where does this species come from?

Mexico

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KZN, Free State, Northern Cape, Limpopo, and Mpumalanga.

How does it spread?

This plant spreads laterally via suckers and can form very large and dense colonies over time. The seeds are also dispersed by both wind and water. Plants are most commonly spread into bushland areas in dumped garden waste.

Why is it a problem?

The plant eventually forms dense almost impenetrable thickets and has properties that can cause injury to people and animals.

What does it look like?

Leaves: Rosette - Light grey, with toothed margins and terminal spine; leaves unreflexed; variegated forms have grey to dark green leaves with yellow or white margins or central stripe.

Flowers:Its upright flowers (7-10.5 cm long) are yellow or greenish-yellow in colour and have six very prominent stamens.

Fruit/seeds: Capsule - Capsule 40 mm long.

Does the plant have any uses?

Ornament, security hedging; flowering poles used as fence posts.

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