Please donate to support our ‘Plants to Save the Planet’ Project. The Project is directed at enabling designers of ‘carbon farms’ and ‘food forests’: agroecosystems of perennial plants, to choose the most appropriate plants for their requirements and site conditions. We are working on a subset of plants in the PFAF database identified as having the most potential for inclusion in such designs. We are adding search terms and icons to those plants pages, and providing a range of search options aligned to categories of plants and crop yields, with Help facilities including videos. More >>>

Follow Us:

 

Agave parryi - Engelm.

Common Name Century Plant, Parry's agave, Mescal
Family Agavaceae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards The plants have a very sharp and tough spine at the tip of each leaf. They need to be carefully sited in the garden.
Habitats Semi-arid land, 1300 - 2400 metres[181]. Gravelly to rocky places in grasslands, desert scrub, chaparral, pinyon-juniper, and oak woodlands, 1200 - 2800 metres Ariz., N.Mex.; nw Mexico[270].
Range South-western N. America - Arizona to New Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Agave parryi Century Plant, Parry


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Keith_Edkins
Agave parryi Century Plant, Parry
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:BS_Thurner_Hof

 

Translate this page:

Summary

Bloom Color: White. Form: Rounded.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Agave parryi is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf all year. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Moths, bats.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds; South Wall. By.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Sap  Seed  Stem
Edible Uses:

The heart of the plant is very rich in saccharine matter and can be eaten when baked[2, 105]. Sweet and nutritious, but rather fibrous[213]. It is partly below ground[85]. Seed - ground into a flour and used as a thickener in soups or used with cereal flours when making bread[92]. Young flower stalk - raw or cooked[257]. It was generally roasted[177, 183]. Tender young leaves - roasted[161]. Sap from the cut flowering stems is used as a syrup[177]. Nectar from the flowering stems is made into a sweet syrup[183]. The sap can also be tapped by boring a hole into the middle of the plant at the base of the flowering stem[213]. It can be fermented into 'Mescal', a very potent alcoholic drink[213].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antiseptic  Diuretic  Laxative  Miscellany

The sap is antiseptic, diuretic and laxative[21].

Our new book Edible Shrubs is now available.

Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

Read More

Edible Shrubs Book

Other Uses

Fibre  Miscellany  Needles  Paper  Pins  Soap  Thatching

The leaves contain saponins and an extract of them can be used as a soap[2]. It is best obtained by chopping up the leaves and then simmering them in water - do not boil for too long or this will start to break down the saponins[K]. A very strong fibre obtained from the leaves is used for making rope, coarse fabrics etc[2, 61, 92]. A paper can also be made from the fibre in the leaves[2]. The thorns on the leaves are used as pins and needles[2]. The dried flowering stems are used as a waterproof thatch[2] and as a razor strop[89].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

Cultivation details

Historic Crop  Management: Standard  Staple Crop: Basic Starch

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Ground cover, Massing, Rock garden, Specimen. Requires a very well-drained soil and a sunny position[1, 200]. This species is probably the hardiest member of the genus, it survives outdoors grown against a warm wall at Kew[11]. In the wild, plants often experience snow during the winter with temperatures as low as -18°c for short periods[181]. A monocarpic species, the plant lives for a number of years without flowering but dies once it does flower. However, it normally produces plenty of suckers during its life and these take about 10 - 15 years in a warm climate, considerably longer in colder ones, before flowering[11]. This plant is widely used by the native people in its wild habitat, it has a wide range of uses. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233]. Special Features:Attracts birds, Attractive foliage, North American native, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Flowers are rare, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Carbon Farming

  • Historic Crop  These crops were once cultivated but have been abandoned. The reasons for abandonment may include colonization, genocide, market pressures, the arrival of superior crops from elsewhere, and so forth.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Staple Crop: Basic Starch  The Carbon Farming Solution. Eric Toensmeier.

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

image

The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now

Propagation

Seed - surface sow in a light position, April in a warm greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 20°c[133]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots of well-drained soil when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a sunny position in the greenhouse until they are at least 20cm tall. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and give some protection from the cold for at least their first few winters[K]. Offsets can be potted up at any time they are available. Keep in a warm greenhouse until they are well established[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Agave americanaAgave, American century plantPerennial7.5 8-11 SLMNDM33 
Agave cantala agaveAgavePerennial2.0 9-12 FLMHNDM204
Agave fourcroydesHenequenPerennial1.8 10-12 MLMHNDM013
Agave lechuguillaIxtle, ChihuahuaPerennial0.6 10-12 MLMHNDM124
Agave murpheyiHohokam Agave, Murphey agavePerennial1.0 8-12 SLMHNDM204
Agave salmianaPulque Agave, Giant AgavePerennial2.0 9-11 MLMHNDM302
Agave sisalanaSisalPerennial2.0 9-11 FLMHSNDM224
Agave tequilanaBlue Agave, Mescal, Tequila.Perennial2.0 10-12 MLMHND303
Agave utahensis discretaCentury PlantPerennial4.0 8-11  LMNDM31 
Agave utahensis eborispinaCentury PlantPerennial4.0 8-11  LMNDM31 
Agave viviparaMescal CaseroPerennial1.0 10-12 MLMHNDM303

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment

Author

Engelm.

Botanical References

11200270

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

   Nov 29 2010 12:00AM

The plant multiply on its root system. Dont plant close to road or driveway will come up and start breaking up the asphalt or concrete.

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Agave parryi  
All the information contained in these pages is Copyright (C) Plants For A Future, 1996-2012.
Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567,
Web Design & Management
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.