If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Tropical Plants

Agave angustifolia

Haw.

Asparagaceae


There has been considerable confusion over this name. We have followed the treatment of Garcia-Mendoza and Chiang (Brittonia Vol 55 No.1 pp82-87. 2003)[
662
Title
The confusion of Agave vivipara L. and A. angustifolia Haw., two distinct taxa.
Publication
Brittonia Vol 55 No.1, pp 82-87
Author
Garcia-Mendoza A.; Chiang F.
Publisher
Brittonia; New York
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An article setting out the reasons why Agave angustifolia should be treated as a distinct species with a different range to Agave vivipara..
] who treat this as a distinct species, separate from A. Vivipara and with a distinct range[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. By this treatment, all references for A. Viviparum with a range covering central America should refer to this species since A. Vivipara is native only to the islands of the Caribbean[
662
Title
The confusion of Agave vivipara L. and A. angustifolia Haw., two distinct taxa.
Publication
Brittonia Vol 55 No.1, pp 82-87
Author
Garcia-Mendoza A.; Chiang F.
Publisher
Brittonia; New York
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An article setting out the reasons why Agave angustifolia should be treated as a distinct species with a different range to Agave vivipara..
].

+ Synonyms

Agave aboriginum Trel.

Agave bergeri Trel. ex A.Berger

Agave breedlovei Gentry

Agave costaricana Gentry

Agave donnell-smithii Trel.

Agave elongate Jacobi

Agave endlichiana Trel.

Agave exselsa Baker

Agave ixtli Karw. ex Salm-Dyck

Agave ixtlioides Hook.

Agave jacquiniana Schult.

Agave jacquiniana Schult. ex Hook.

Agave kirchneriana A.Berger

Agave lespinassei Trel.

Agave letonae F.W.Taylor ex Trel.

Agave owenii I.M.Johnst.

Agave pacifica Trel.

Agave panamana Trel.

Agave prainiana A.Berger

Agave sicaefolia Trel.

Agave spectabilis Tod.

Agave wightii J.R.Drumm. & Prain

Agave yaquiana Trel.

Agave zapupe Trel.

Common Name:

Agave angustifolia
Plant growing in native habitat in Mexico
Photograph by: Amante Darmanin
Creative Commons License
Agave angustifolia Agave angustifolia Agave angustifolia Agave angustifolia Agave angustifolia

General Information

Agave angustifolia is an evergreen, succulent plant forming a large, rosette of leaves up to 100cm tall and, eventually, a flowering stem that can be up to 5 metres tall.
This is the main species in the genus for making the drink 'mescal'. The other uses of the plant are many and varied, including supplying food, fibre for ropes, construction material, fuel, beverages, traditional medicines and diverse utensils for local people[
662
Title
The confusion of Agave vivipara L. and A. angustifolia Haw., two distinct taxa.
Publication
Brittonia Vol 55 No.1, pp 82-87
Author
Garcia-Mendoza A.; Chiang F.
Publisher
Brittonia; New York
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An article setting out the reasons why Agave angustifolia should be treated as a distinct species with a different range to Agave vivipara..
]. The plant is also grown as an ornamental[
662
Title
The confusion of Agave vivipara L. and A. angustifolia Haw., two distinct taxa.
Publication
Brittonia Vol 55 No.1, pp 82-87
Author
Garcia-Mendoza A.; Chiang F.
Publisher
Brittonia; New York
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An article setting out the reasons why Agave angustifolia should be treated as a distinct species with a different range to Agave vivipara..
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/

Range

C. America - Costa Rica to Mexico.

Habitat

Brushy rocky slopes, moist quebradas, or moist thickets, often planted in hedges or for ornament, at elevations from 200 - 3,000 metres[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
]. Found in several vegetation types, from coastal dunes at sea level to oak-pine forests at 2,200 metres[
662
Title
The confusion of Agave vivipara L. and A. angustifolia Haw., two distinct taxa.
Publication
Brittonia Vol 55 No.1, pp 82-87
Author
Garcia-Mendoza A.; Chiang F.
Publisher
Brittonia; New York
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An article setting out the reasons why Agave angustifolia should be treated as a distinct species with a different range to Agave vivipara..
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Perennial
Height5.00 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of drier areas in the tropics. Plants can tolerate temperatures down to at least -4°c so long as the conditions are dry[
423
Title
Desert Tropicals
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.desert-tropicals.com/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The main focus of the site is succulent plants, but it also contains information on a wide range of other species. Usually at least one good photograph, plus basic information about the plant and its cultivation.
].
Requires a sunny position[
423
Title
Desert Tropicals
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.desert-tropicals.com/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The main focus of the site is succulent plants, but it also contains information on a wide range of other species. Usually at least one good photograph, plus basic information about the plant and its cultivation.
]. Requires a well-drained soil[
423
Title
Desert Tropicals
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.desert-tropicals.com/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The main focus of the site is succulent plants, but it also contains information on a wide range of other species. Usually at least one good photograph, plus basic information about the plant and its cultivation.
]. Succeeds in poor soils[
423
Title
Desert Tropicals
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.desert-tropicals.com/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The main focus of the site is succulent plants, but it also contains information on a wide range of other species. Usually at least one good photograph, plus basic information about the plant and its cultivation.
]. Established plants are very drought resistant[
423
Title
Desert Tropicals
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.desert-tropicals.com/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The main focus of the site is succulent plants, but it also contains information on a wide range of other species. Usually at least one good photograph, plus basic information about the plant and its cultivation.
].
A monocarpic species - the plant lives for a number of years without flowering but dies once it does flower. However, it normally produces plenty of suckers during its life and these continue growing, taking about 10 - 15 years in a warm climate, considerably longer in colder ones, before flowering[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
].

Edible Uses

Flower buds and flowers[
662
Title
The confusion of Agave vivipara L. and A. angustifolia Haw., two distinct taxa.
Publication
Brittonia Vol 55 No.1, pp 82-87
Author
Garcia-Mendoza A.; Chiang F.
Publisher
Brittonia; New York
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An article setting out the reasons why Agave angustifolia should be treated as a distinct species with a different range to Agave vivipara..
].

Young flower peduncles[
662
Title
The confusion of Agave vivipara L. and A. angustifolia Haw., two distinct taxa.
Publication
Brittonia Vol 55 No.1, pp 82-87
Author
Garcia-Mendoza A.; Chiang F.
Publisher
Brittonia; New York
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An article setting out the reasons why Agave angustifolia should be treated as a distinct species with a different range to Agave vivipara..
].

Stems[
662
Title
The confusion of Agave vivipara L. and A. angustifolia Haw., two distinct taxa.
Publication
Brittonia Vol 55 No.1, pp 82-87
Author
Garcia-Mendoza A.; Chiang F.
Publisher
Brittonia; New York
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An article setting out the reasons why Agave angustifolia should be treated as a distinct species with a different range to Agave vivipara..
].

Leaf bases[
662
Title
The confusion of Agave vivipara L. and A. angustifolia Haw., two distinct taxa.
Publication
Brittonia Vol 55 No.1, pp 82-87
Author
Garcia-Mendoza A.; Chiang F.
Publisher
Brittonia; New York
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An article setting out the reasons why Agave angustifolia should be treated as a distinct species with a different range to Agave vivipara..
].

Fruit[
662
Title
The confusion of Agave vivipara L. and A. angustifolia Haw., two distinct taxa.
Publication
Brittonia Vol 55 No.1, pp 82-87
Author
Garcia-Mendoza A.; Chiang F.
Publisher
Brittonia; New York
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An article setting out the reasons why Agave angustifolia should be treated as a distinct species with a different range to Agave vivipara..
].

The flowering stems are cooked and their juice extracted, fermented, and distilled into alcoholic beverages[
662
Title
The confusion of Agave vivipara L. and A. angustifolia Haw., two distinct taxa.
Publication
Brittonia Vol 55 No.1, pp 82-87
Author
Garcia-Mendoza A.; Chiang F.
Publisher
Brittonia; New York
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An article setting out the reasons why Agave angustifolia should be treated as a distinct species with a different range to Agave vivipara..
].
The sap can be concentrated into a sweet syrup known as 'Agave Nectar' or 'Agave Syrup'[
360
Title
Philippine Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.stuartxchange.org/CompleteList.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A lovely site, giving brief details on the medicinal uses of several hundred (over 400 at the last count) plants in the Philippines, plus a picture of each plant.
].

Medicinal

The juice of the cooked leaves and stems, and a root infusion, are taken internally or used as poultices for both internal and external swelling, as well as for bruises, liver and kidney diseases, arthritis, and dysentery[
662
Title
The confusion of Agave vivipara L. and A. angustifolia Haw., two distinct taxa.
Publication
Brittonia Vol 55 No.1, pp 82-87
Author
Garcia-Mendoza A.; Chiang F.
Publisher
Brittonia; New York
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An article setting out the reasons why Agave angustifolia should be treated as a distinct species with a different range to Agave vivipara..
].

The roots are diaphoretic and diuretic[
360
Title
Philippine Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.stuartxchange.org/CompleteList.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A lovely site, giving brief details on the medicinal uses of several hundred (over 400 at the last count) plants in the Philippines, plus a picture of each plant.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Often planted in hedges[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

Other Uses

A fibre from the leaves is used for making rope[
662
Title
The confusion of Agave vivipara L. and A. angustifolia Haw., two distinct taxa.
Publication
Brittonia Vol 55 No.1, pp 82-87
Author
Garcia-Mendoza A.; Chiang F.
Publisher
Brittonia; New York
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An article setting out the reasons why Agave angustifolia should be treated as a distinct species with a different range to Agave vivipara..
].

The leaves are used for thatching[
662
Title
The confusion of Agave vivipara L. and A. angustifolia Haw., two distinct taxa.
Publication
Brittonia Vol 55 No.1, pp 82-87
Author
Garcia-Mendoza A.; Chiang F.
Publisher
Brittonia; New York
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An article setting out the reasons why Agave angustifolia should be treated as a distinct species with a different range to Agave vivipara..
].

The spines on the leaves are used as nails or needles[
662
Title
The confusion of Agave vivipara L. and A. angustifolia Haw., two distinct taxa.
Publication
Brittonia Vol 55 No.1, pp 82-87
Author
Garcia-Mendoza A.; Chiang F.
Publisher
Brittonia; New York
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An article setting out the reasons why Agave angustifolia should be treated as a distinct species with a different range to Agave vivipara..
].

The flowering stem can be used as posts, rafters, and fences[
662
Title
The confusion of Agave vivipara L. and A. angustifolia Haw., two distinct taxa.
Publication
Brittonia Vol 55 No.1, pp 82-87
Author
Garcia-Mendoza A.; Chiang F.
Publisher
Brittonia; New York
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An article setting out the reasons why Agave angustifolia should be treated as a distinct species with a different range to Agave vivipara..
].

The root contains saponins and can be used as a soap substitute[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

The sticky sap of the leaves is added to whitewash to make it adhere to walls[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

The dried plant is burnt for fuel[
662
Title
The confusion of Agave vivipara L. and A. angustifolia Haw., two distinct taxa.
Publication
Brittonia Vol 55 No.1, pp 82-87
Author
Garcia-Mendoza A.; Chiang F.
Publisher
Brittonia; New York
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An article setting out the reasons why Agave angustifolia should be treated as a distinct species with a different range to Agave vivipara..
].

Propagation

Seed - surface sow in a container in a light position. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 20°c[
133
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 1.
Publication
 
Author
Rice. G. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1987
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation.
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots of well-drained soil when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a sunny position until they are at least 20cm tall.
Division of suckers
Bulbils
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2018-12-16. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Agave+angustifolia>

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.