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Agave utahensis eborispina - (Hester.)Breitung.

Common Name Century Plant
Family Agavaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
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 Dry stony limestone slopes, 1000 - 1500 metres. Calcareous outcrops with desert scrub at elevations of 1100 - 1900 metres in California and Nevada[270].
Range South-western N. America
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Half Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Agave utahensis eborispina Century Plant


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Agave utahensis eborispina Century Plant

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Agave utahensis eborispina is an evergreen Perennial growing to 4 m (13ft) by 2 m (6ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9 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  Root  Sap  Seed  Stem
Edible Uses: Drink

The heart of the plant is very rich in saccharine matter and can be eaten when baked[2, 46, 61, 105, 177]. Sweet and delicious, but rather fibrous[213]. It is partly below ground. Can be dried for future use or soaked in water to produce a flavourful beverage[183]. Seed - ground into a flour[85, 161]. Flower stalk - roasted[183]. Root - cooked[183]. Sap from the cut flowering stems is used as a syrup[177]. 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].

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Other Uses

Brush  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]. To make hair brushes and brushes for cleaning, the dried matter of a dead and rotten leaf was knocked free from the fibres, which were then bent in two. the upper end of this brush was wrapped with a cord and the bent portion was covered with a cloth. The loose fibres were cut to the right length and hardened by burning the ends[257]. 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].

Cultivation details

Requires a very well-drained soil and a sunny position[1, 200]. Plants are only hardy on the south coast of England, where they succeed from Torbay westwards[1]. 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].

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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 NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Agave americanaAgave, American century plant33
Agave cantala agaveAgave20
Agave fourcroydesHenequen01
Agave lechuguillaIxtle, Chihuahua12
Agave murpheyiHohokam Agave, Murphey agave20
Agave parryiCentury Plant, Parry's agave, Mescal31
Agave salmianaPulque Agave, Giant Agave30
Agave sisalanaSisal22
Agave tequilanaBlue Agave, Mescal, Tequila.30
Agave utahensis discretaCentury Plant31
Agave viviparaMescal Casero30

 

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Author

(Hester.)Breitung.

Botanical References

270

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