AGAVE

P. Greenhouse plants with rosettes of long, pointed, leathery leaves and yellowish-green funnel-shaped flowers which emerge from the centre of the rosette. When the seed ripens, the rosette dies, although offsets are often produced. Agaves are slow growers but demand plenty of space and are sometimes used in public parks for sub-tropical bedding schemes. They are drought-resistant.

Agave americana is a favourite species with leaves up to 3 ft. long and the flower spike not less than 15 ft. high. The smaller species such as A.jilifera and A. parvifiora are sometimes grown.

Sisal is produced from the leaves of A. sisalana and the Mexican national drink — pulque — is obtained from flower heads of the agave. The roots of A. americana have detergent properties.

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