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Useful Tropical Plants

Agave guttata

Jacobi & C.D.Bouché

Asparagaceae


The genus Agave is treated here in a wide sense to include taxa previously treated as belonging to the genera Manfreda, Prochnyanthes, Polianthes and Pseudobravoa. Not all botanists are happy with this treatment, with some feeling that these genera should remain distinct, at least until further studies have been carried out. In addition, given the high species diversity found in Agave, some feel that an alternative approach could be the recognition of several smaller genera within the current circumscription of Agave[
1855
Title
Two new species of Manfreda Salisb. (Agavaceae) from the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico
Publication
Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 135(2), 2008, pp. 168-177
Author
Hernández-Sandoval L., Orellana R. & Carnevali G.
Website
http://dx.doi.org/10.3159/08-RA-023.1
Publisher
 
Year
2008
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

+ Synonyms

Agave protuberans Engelm. ex Baker

Leichtlinia protuberans (Engelm. ex Baker) H.Ross

Manfreda guttata (Jacobi & C.D.Bouché) Rose

Polianthes guttata (Jacobi & C.D.Bouché) Shinners

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Agave guttata is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from a bulbous rootstock with a fleshy, contractile root. It produces rosettes of usually 2 - 7 lanceolate, semi-succulent leaves around 17 - 34cm long and 12 - 35mm wide, and a flowering stem 60 - 160cm tall. The plant spreads by means of rhizomes to form a cluster of growth[
1844
Title
Agave Agavaceae
Publication
Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Monocotyledons, pp 21-311
Author
Thiede J.
Website
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-56486-8_111
Publisher
Springer Nature
Year
2020
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a soap. At one time commonly used as a soap in Mexico, where it used to be harvested in large quantities and sold in markets[
1852
Title
Huaco and Amole: A Survey of the Uses of Manfreda and Prochnyanthes
Publication
Economic Botany, Vol. 32, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1978), pp. 124-130
Author
Verhoek S.
Website
http://www.jstor.org/stable/4253919
Publisher
 
Year
1978
ISBN
 
Description
 
]

Known Hazards

The corm is rich in saponins and has been used as a fish poison[
1856
Title
Sistemática del género Manfreda Salisb. (Agavaceae)
Publication
 
Author
Castillejos-Cruz C.
Publisher
Texcoco (MX): Colegio de Postgraduados, Campus Montecillo
Year
2009
ISBN
 
Description
An unpublished Ph.D. thesis.
].
Many Agave species have strong, sharp spines on the leaves and leaf tips.
In theory at least, the flowers, nectar, immature flowering stem and the centre of the rosette of all Agave species is edible and, with proper preparation, can provide a sweet, tasty foodstuff. Some species, however, contain relatively high levels of saponins (which makes them taste bitter) and some other compounds which can cause bellyache, and so these would only be eaten in times of desperation. In addition, many people may find these foods to be strongly laxative the first few times they eat them[
1846
Title
The Agaves of Baja California
Publication
Occasional Papers of the California Academy of Sciences, No. 130,
Author
Gentry H.S.
Publisher
California Academy of Sciences; San Francisco
Year
1978
ISBN
0068-5461
Description
 
].

Botanical References

1844
Title
Agave Agavaceae
Publication
Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Monocotyledons, pp 21-311
Author
Thiede J.
Website
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-56486-8_111
Publisher
Springer Nature
Year
2020
ISBN
 
Description
 
,
1856
Title
Sistemática del género Manfreda Salisb. (Agavaceae)
Publication
 
Author
Castillejos-Cruz C.
Publisher
Texcoco (MX): Colegio de Postgraduados, Campus Montecillo
Year
2009
ISBN
 
Description
An unpublished Ph.D. thesis.

Range

Southern N. America - central Mexico

Habitat

Open grassy roadsides, rocky fields, summit of hills, roadcuts, in oak, pine-oak and tropical deciduous forests, desert scrub and grasslands, at elevations from 1,220 - 2,440 metres[
1844
Title
Agave Agavaceae
Publication
Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Monocotyledons, pp 21-311
Author
Thiede J.
Website
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-56486-8_111
Publisher
Springer Nature
Year
2020
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.30 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Not known

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The crushed corm is used as a remedy to treat rabies in domestic animals[
1856
Title
Sistemática del género Manfreda Salisb. (Agavaceae)
Publication
 
Author
Castillejos-Cruz C.
Publisher
Texcoco (MX): Colegio de Postgraduados, Campus Montecillo
Year
2009
ISBN
 
Description
An unpublished Ph.D. thesis.
].

Other Uses

The rhizomes are rich in saponins and can be used as a soap substitute[
1852
Title
Huaco and Amole: A Survey of the Uses of Manfreda and Prochnyanthes
Publication
Economic Botany, Vol. 32, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1978), pp. 124-130
Author
Verhoek S.
Website
http://www.jstor.org/stable/4253919
Publisher
 
Year
1978
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. The soap was prepared soap by mashing the rootstocks between stones, adding a small amount of water, and allowing them to soak. The resulting liquid was then drained off into the wash water. Often the rootstocks were dried for storage and grated as needed[
1852
Title
Huaco and Amole: A Survey of the Uses of Manfreda and Prochnyanthes
Publication
Economic Botany, Vol. 32, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1978), pp. 124-130
Author
Verhoek S.
Website
http://www.jstor.org/stable/4253919
Publisher
 
Year
1978
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Propagation

Seed - surface sow in a container in a light position. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 15 - 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.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. 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 10cm tall before planting out.
Division of the clump in the dormant season.
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2024-04-20. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Agave+guttata>

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