Agave americana (Century Plant)

Scientific Name

Agave americana L.

Common Names

Century Plant, American Aloe, Maguey


Agave ingens varpicta, Agave zonata, Agave virginica, Agave variegata, Agave americana var. theometel, Agave theometel, Agave subzonata, Agave spectabilis, Agave ramosa, Agave picta, Agave altissima, Agave rasconensis, Agave milleri, Agave communis, Agave complicata, Agave felina, Agave fuerstenbergii, Agave gracilispina, Agave ingens, Agave melliflua

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Agave


Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: It takes 10 to 25 years to bloom


Agave americana is a solitary or slowly clumping succulent with a basal rosette that grows up to 13 feet (4 m) in diameter. Leaves are gray-green, up to 6.6 feet (2 m) long, each with a spiny margin and a heavy spike at the tip. When it flowers, the spike with a cyme of big yellow flowers may reach up to 26 feet (8 m) in height.

Agave americana - Century Plant

How to Grow and Care

Agave is not a difficult plant to grow. They're slow-growing and dramatic and will even thrive on a bit of neglect. If you're the type of person who likes to fuss with houseplants and water a lot, Agave is probably not the plant for you. If, however, you're the type of person who likes to set it and forget it, and you have a sunny window, Agave might the way to go. Be aware that some of the large varieties will eventually outgrow your room (unless you have a large greenhouse), and Agave can be aggressive. They have irritating sap and sometimes very sharp thorns that can cause injuries to small children and even pets. See more at How to Grow and Care for Agave.


This succulent plant is native to Mexico, naturalized in many regions, and grows wild in Europe, South Africa, India, and Australia.


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