Agave ferox

Agave is a genus of very interesting succulent plants. Over 300 species are distributed from southern North Africa through Central to South America. Many are not suitable for growing as house plants because they are so big. However, quite large species can be cultivated successfully in glassed-in verandas or in conservatories. Young plants are very attractive but older specimens become a problem because of their huge size. A. ameri-cana, for example, is familiar as a decorative summer plant in parks, gardens and wherever there is ample space. Other very attractive species are A.filifera, with hair-like indumentum, and A. victoriae-reginae with white stripes on the spineless leaves. The leaf rosettes of A. ferox are 100 cm (39 in) across and are composed of numerous, stiff, dark green leaves with prickly margins. These ‘teeth’ are spaced 1-2 cm apart and the terminal spine may be 2-3 cm long. The inflorescence may be as much as 8-10 m (26-33 ft) high, with individual, pale yellow-green flowers up to 7 cm (3V2 inch) long.

They are easy to cultivate. Provide a free-draining compost and treat in the same way as plants of the genus Aeonium .

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