Friday, November 20, 2009

Agave Americana

When I posted about Brugmansia I mentioned that the horticulturist at Central Park Zoo likes to experiment with marginally hardy plant materials. Agave americana is another plant in this category.

Agave americana is also called century plant, because this plant only blooms every ten years or so, and we all like a little hyperbole. When the plant does bloom it sends a very tall stalk into the air, high enough above the ground to protect the blossom from terrestrial predators. After the plant blooms, it dies.

If one were to cut the bloom's stem before the flower had opened, one could collect a sap - called agua miel (honey water) - ferment it and create a drink called pulque. Agave americana's cousin, Agave tequilana is of course responsible for a drink called tequila.


janie said...

Interesting information. I love agave, I have many of them!

How It Grows said...

I can't believe you can get this to grow up there!

Mike said...

Arre they any relation to Yucca plants?