Previous species
Previous Species

Next Species
Next Species

Home Page

Order CD-ROMs from the site

Tell a Friend

Gardening Books

Gardening Catalogs


Century Plant, Maguey
Scientific Name: Agave americana L.
Synonym: Agave ingens var. picta, Agave zonata, Agave virginica, Agave variegata, Agave americana var. theometel, Agave theometel, Agave subzonata, Agave spectabilis, Agave ramosa, Agave picta, Agave altissima, Agave rasconensis, Agave milleri, Agave communis, Agave complicata, Agave felina, Agave fuerstenbergii, Agave gracilispina, Agave ingens, Agave melliflua
Family: Agavaceae
Century Plant, Maguey (Agave  americana) Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 10-30
USDA: 8b-12

Frost Tolerance: Hardy in Phoenix to 18F (-8C), slow to recover after frost damage

Minimum Avg. Temperature: 50F (10C)

Heat Tolerance: Extremely heat resistant

Sun Exposure: Full sun

Origin: Widely cultivated in the world, probably originally from eastern Mexico

Growth Habits: Grey leafed succulents, eventually forms clumps of 10 feet wide (3 m) rosettes.

Watering Needs: Infrequent water

Propagation: Suckers (called pups), seeds

The Century Plant is one of the finest succulents available in Phoenix and other Mediterranean climates. Its size unfortunately limit its use.

Century Plant, Maguey (Agave  americana)

Cultural Practices:
Tolerates poor soil and drought, but requires excellent drainage.

Blooming Habits:
Blooms only when the plant is 15 years old or more. The flower stalk is huge (15 to 40 feet), starting like an asparagus, but its 3 inches in width (7 cm), pale yellow flowers in panicle are inconspicuous. The plant then dies leaving suckers that grow into replacement plants. It is often attacked by the agave snout weevil in Arizona.

Fruiting Habits:

The Agave americana grows fairly fast in summer if provided with extra water

Agaves, Yuccas and Related Plants: A gardener guide

Check for Field Collection numbers at Ralph Martin's Site

Sponsors: Michigan Bulb - 120 x 60 Lawns Banner! Gurney's 120 x 60 A

We do get a small commission out of these sponsors that helps financing the website.  Let us know if you are satisfied or dissatisfied of their services, since obviously we are trying to advertise only for reputable garden supply companies.  They might be helpful to get plants not generally available at the local garden center, getting a new and unusual gardening tool or get a discount Better Homes and Gardens magazine subscription.


Desert Tropicals Home Page | List of All the Plants | More in the Agavaceae family | Tell your friends about this page

Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

1998-2005 Philippe Faucon, All Rights Reserved.