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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

 

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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.

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].

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].

Cultivation details

Historic Crop;  Management: Standard.

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.

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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 salmianaPulque Agave, Giant Agave30
Agave sisalanaSisal22
Agave tequilanaBlue Agave, Mescal, Tequila.30
Agave utahensis discretaCentury Plant31
Agave utahensis eborispinaCentury Plant31

 

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Expert comment

Author

Engelm.

Botanical References

11200270

Links / References

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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.

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