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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 26 | Agavaceae | Manfreda

4. Manfreda maculosa (Hooker) Rose, Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 8: 17. 1903.

Huaco, wild-tuberose, amole plant, spice-lily, soap plant

Agave maculosa Hooker, Bot. Mag. 85: plate 5122. 1859; A. maculosa var. brevituba Engelmann; A. maculosa var. minor Jacobi; Polianthes maculosa (Hooker) Shinners

Rhizomes cylindrical. Leaves sprawling, succulent, to 36 × 0.6–2.5 cm; blade spotted with green or brown, glaucous, channeled, linear-lanceolate, brittle, margins with small, sparse, cartilaginous teeth. Scape 4.2–13.1 dm. Inflorescences open, to 4 dm, 7–33-flowered. Flowers erect, usually sessile, with strong, sweet odor; tepals pale yellow or white, becoming pink to rose; perianth tube funnelform, equal to or longer than ovary, 0.6–2.6 cm; limb lobes recurved, 0.9–1.9 × 0.3–0.5 cm; filaments bent near tip in bud, inserted near top of tube, exceeding tube by 0.8–2.2 cm; ovary 6–19 mm; style exceeding tube by 0.5–2.2 cm, usually shorter than stamens; stigma white, not clavate, deeply 3-lobed, lobes reflexed. Capsules ellipsoid, 1.1–2.4 × 1–1.5 cm.

Flowering spring--early fall. Sandy or clay soils, in mesquite scrubland, in dry or moist sites; 0--300 m; Tex.; Mexico (Coahuila, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas).

Chopped rhizomes of Manfreda maculosa have been used as a source of soap and shampoo in Texas, and plants are occasionally sold as ornamentals (S. E. Verhoek 1978b). Leaf size varies with growing conditions; flower size and ratio of floral parts are variable. The epithet maculata, which properly applies to a different Mexican species, has been used erroneously for this species.


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