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Century Plant, Maguey, Flowering Aloe, Spiked Aloe, American Aloe
Agave americana


The largest and most majestic of the native Texas agaves, Agave americana often grows as tall as 6 feet. Its leaves are gray-blue to blue-green with spines at the tips and on the margins; the older leaves often gracefully arch down. Century plant lives for 10 to 25 years (the "century" is an exaggeration) before it uses all its reserves to produce a magnificent flower stalk that can be 15 feet tall. After that the original plant dies, but is replaced by small offshoots around the base. In Texas it grows in dry, gravelly soils in the south, but is naturalized and grown farther north and west. Like most agaves, A. americana needs full sun and well drained soil to thrive. It is extremely drought tolerant and moderately slow-growing. Supplemental water in dry summer months will make it grow faster, but care must be taken not to overwater, especially in clay soils, because too much moisture will cause the roots to rot. It is hardy to about 20 degrees F., and like most agaves, is tolerant of reflected heat. Several variegated forms of Agave americana are in cultivation.

Plant Habit or Use: medium shrub

Exposure: sun

Flower Color: greenish white

Blooming Period: summer

Fruit Characteristics: capsule

Height: 1 to 6 feet / to 15 feet with flower

Width: 1 to 5 feet

Plant Character: evergreen

Heat Tolerance: very high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: adaptable

USDA Hardiness Zone: 8

Additional Comments:

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