Thread-leaf Agave

25 10 2011

Originally from Mexico, Thread-leaf Agave (Agave filifera) is an evergreen perennial succulent. The name “filifera” means “carrying threads.” It thrives in dry and hot climates and is drought-tolerant and low maintenance. It prefers full sun to light shade and needs regular watering in summer, but must be kept dry in winter.

Tequila is made from the leaves and rope, food, soap and other products are made from the fibers and pulp (pretty industrious plant, I’d say!). Agave filifera rarely flowers, but when it does, greenish flowers bloom on a 6-foot tall spike. Some can bloom annually, while others only bloom every 30-40 years (As a gardener obsessed, I’ve developed a store of patience—contrary to what my family and friends might say!—but I doubt I’d have the patience to wait for that show!) The flowers turn maroon as they age.

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