The Buzz

Agave americana `Marginata’

 

 

For the first time in my life, I am caring for an Agave americana `Marginata’ that is about to bloom. I can’t begin to describe the pleasure seeing the magnificent bloom stalk that it produces.   

Agave americana `Marginata’ is often  called the Century Plant. It’s range is through subtropical and tropical Americas, as well as the Mediterranean. Agave americana `Marginata’ has been a useful economic plant to Native Americans for centuries, as a food plant and a source of a number strong drinks. In Europe it’s best known product is sisal, which is produced from the fibers.

Agave americana `Marginata‘ grows to about 6 ft. by 6 ft. The flower stalk can reach up to 15-20 ft., with golden yellow flowers. In the Southwest, they can grow 30 ft. wide. It takes at least ten years or longer for an agave to bloom.  After it blooms, the main plant will die, due to all the energy it puts into the flower stalk. But don’t be sad, because it will produce new pups,so the plant will continue to exist.

Here in the Mid-south, Agave americana `Marginata’ are grown in containers. They like being pot-bound, and can be overwintered indoors with a minimum temperature of  40ºf. 

Our agave can be seen in the nursery  just west of the Asian garden. If you would like to see our agave in bloom, you will need to hurry. It is about to show us its flowers, but cold temps may force me to move it. 

By Manny Pailet, Greenhouse Manager  

 

Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at 6:00 AM

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