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)[
] who treat this as a distinct species, separate from A. Vivipara and with a distinct range[
]. 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[
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.
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[
]. The plant is also grown as an ornamental[
C. America - Costa Rica to Mexico.
Brushy rocky slopes, moist quebradas, or moist thickets, often planted in hedges or for ornament, at elevations from 200 - 3,000 metres[
]. Found in several vegetation types, from coastal dunes at sea level to oak-pine forests at 2,200 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
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[
Requires a sunny position[
]. Requires a well-drained soil[
]. Succeeds in poor soils[
]. Established plants are very drought resistant[
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[
Flower buds and flowers[
Young flower peduncles[
The flowering stems are cooked and their juice extracted, fermented, and distilled into alcoholic beverages[
The sap can be concentrated into a sweet syrup known as 'Agave Nectar' or 'Agave Syrup'[
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[
The roots are diaphoretic and diuretic[
Often planted in hedges[
A fibre from the leaves is used for making rope[
The leaves are used for thatching[
The spines on the leaves are used as nails or needles[
The flowering stem can be used as posts, rafters, and fences[
The root contains saponins and can be used as a soap substitute[
The sticky sap of the leaves is added to whitewash to make it adhere to walls[
The dried plant is burnt for fuel[
Seed - surface sow in a container in a light position. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 20°c[
]. 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
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.