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

12b.1. Agave americana var. americana

Century plant, maguey

Agave gracilispina Engelmann ex Trelease

Plants acaulescent or short-stemmed; rosettes rather dense. Leaves frequently reflexed, 100–200 × 15–25 cm; blade light green to glaucous-gray, sometimes variegated yellow or whitish; margins undulate to crenate, teeth 5–10 mm; apical spine subulate, 3–5 cm. Scape 5–9 m. Inflorescences: lateral branches 15–35. Flowers 7–10 cm; perianth tube 8–20 mm; ovary 3–4.5 cm. Capsules 4–5 cm. Seeds unknown. 2n = 120.

Flowering mid spring--early summer. Sandy places in desert scrub; 200 m; Tex.; e Mexico.

The cultivar of Agave americana var. americana, technically a variant of A. americana subsp. americana derived from subsp. protamericana, is planted widely in the warmer regions of the United States and elsewhere in the world; only in the south Texas region of the flora is the plant native. At least five additional variants have been named based on leaf variegation patterns, but none is worthy of formal taxonomic recognition.


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