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Agave salmiana - Otto ex Salm-Dyck

Common Name Pulque Agave, Giant Agave
Family Asparagaceae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known
Range C. America to southern N. America - southern and central Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Agave salmiana Pulque Agave, Giant Agave


Kor!An
Agave salmiana Pulque Agave, Giant Agave

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Agave salmiana is an evergreen Perennial growing to 2 m (6ft) by 2 m (6ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly 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 atrovirens sigmatophylla A.Berger Agave coarctata Jacobi Agave cochlearis Jacobi Agave compluviata Trel. Agave jacobiana Salm-Dyck Agave lehmannii Jacobi Agave mitraeformis Jacobi Agave quiotifera Trel. ex Ochot. Agave tehuacanensis Karw. ex Salm-Dyck

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Manna  Stem
Edible Uses:

The sap is fermented to make the alcoholic drink 'pulque'[317 ]. As soon as the inflorescence bud appears (at an age of about 7 years), it is excised. The sweet juice which then exudes for the next 3 - 4 months is collected and fermented[317 ]. Sometimes a brandy is produced by means of distillation of pulque which contains 4 - 8% ethanol. It is also possible to produce sugar or vinegar from the sugar-containing juice[317 ]. The flowering stems are cut into sections and then chewed like sugar cane[301 ]. The cuticle of the young leaves of the central spike is used as a translucent wrapping for the Mexican dish 'mixiote', which is prepared for festive occasions[301 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

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.


None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

The leaves, especially the youngest ones, provide fibres suitable for the production of laces, fine clothes and foodwear[317 ]. The roots contain saponins and can be used as a soap substitute[331 ]. An architectural succulent. Deer Tolerant.

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Living fence  Management: Standard  Regional Crop  Staple Crop: Basic Starch

A plant of drier areas in the subtropics and tropics, where it can be found at elevations up to 2,400 metres. 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 ]. Cultivation is easy in a well-drained sandy soil with sunny exposure. For a pot culture, it requires a container of very large size to remain in an harmonious appearance. It can be used to fix a slope.

Carbon Farming

  • Agroforestry Services: Living fence  Simply managed rows of shrubs and trees.
  • 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.
  • Staple Crop: Basic Starch  The Carbon Farming Solution. Eric Toensmeier.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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

Fahrenheit:

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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,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

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Plant Propagation

Seed - surface sow in a container in a light position. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 20c[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. It is multiplied more easily by planting shoots than by seedlings.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Agave raksasa, Pulqueagave, Maguey de pulque, Maguey manso, Maguey ceniso

Asia, Australia, Central America, Indonesia, Mexico, North America, SE Asia

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 : This taxon has not yet been assessed

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Agave utahensis discretaCentury PlantPerennial4.0 8-11  LMNDM312
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Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

Expert comment

Author

Otto ex Salm-Dyck

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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