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Agave vivipara - L

Common Name Mescal Casero
Family Asparagaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None Known
Habitats Subtropical to tropical. semi-arid to humid
Range Mesoamerica. Caribbean - Aruba; Netherlands Antilles.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Agave vivipara Mescal Casero


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Agave vivipara Mescal Casero
Forest & Kim Starr wikimedia.org

 

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Summary

Sometimes misspelt as Agave vivipera


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Agave vivipara is an evergreen Perennial growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor 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

Agave vivipera (incorrect). Many.

Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Fruit  Leaves  Sap  Stem
Edible Uses:

Many, if not all, of the reports on the uses of this species actually refer to A. Angustifolia. To date we have not found any reports that definitely refer to this species. Since A. Angustifolia is very similar, it is quite possible that both species have similar uses[K ]. Below are the uses listed for A. Angustifolia:- Flower buds and flowers[662 ]. Young flower peduncles[662 ]. Stems[662 ]. Leaf bases[662 ]. Fruit[662 ]. The flowering stems are cooked and their juice extracted, fermented, and distilled into alcoholic beverages[662 ]. The sap can be concentrated into a sweet syrup known as 'Agave Nectar' or 'Agave Syrup'[360 ].

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.


Many, if not all, of the reports on the uses of this species actually refer to A. Angustifolia. To date we have not found any reports that definitely refer to this species. Since A. Angustifolia is very similar, it is quite possible that both species have similar uses[K]. Below are the uses listed for A. Angustifolia:- The juice of the cooked leaves and stems, and a root infusion, are taken internally or used as poultices for both internal and external swelling, as well as for bruises, liver and kidney diseases, arthritis, and dysentery[662]. The roots are diaphoretic and diuretic[360].

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Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: Many, if not all, of the reports on the uses of this species actually refer to A. Angustifolia. To date we have not found any reports that definitely refer to this species. Since A. Angustifolia is very similar, it is quite possible that both species have similar uses[K ]. Below are the uses listed for A. Angustifolia:- Often planted in hedges[331 ]. Other Uses: A fibre from the leaves is used for making rope[662 ]. The leaves are used for thatching[662 ]. The spines on the leaves are used as nails or needles[662 ]. The flowering stem can be used as posts, rafters, and fences[662 ]. The root contains saponins and can be used as a soap substitute[331 ]. The sticky sap of the leaves is added to whitewash to make it adhere to walls[331 ]. The dried plant is burnt for fuel[662 ]. Carbon Farming - Industrial Crop: fiber. Agroforestry Services: living fence.

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Living fence  Industrial Crop: Fiber  Management: Standard  Regional Crop

Agave vivipara is a stemless, succulent plant. Requires a sunny position[423]. Requires a well-drained soil[423]. Succeeds in poor soils[423]. Established plants are very drought resistant[423]. 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 continue growing, taking about 10 - 15 years in a warm climate, considerably longer in colder ones, before flowering[11]. Climate: subtropical to tropical. Humidity: semi-arid to humid. Carbon Farming - Cultivation: regional crop. Management: standard.

Carbon Farming

  • Agroforestry Services: Living fence  Simply managed rows of shrubs and trees.
  • Industrial Crop: Fiber  Clothing, rugs, sheets, blankets etc. Currently, almost none of our fiber are produced from perennial crops but could be!
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.

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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.

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Propagation

Seed - surface sow in a container in a light position. 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 until they are at least 20cm tall. Division of suckers. Bulbils.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Caribbean agave, century plant, maguey, narrow-leaved century plant

Found In

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

Australia, US, South America.

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.

An environmental weed and should be controlled in sensitive bushland and conservation areas.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

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 parryiCentury Plant, Parry's agave, MescalPerennial0.5 9-11 SLMNDM31 
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 

 

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Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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