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Agave_cantala - (Haw.) Roxb. ex Salm-Dyck

Common Name Agave
Family Asparagaceae
USDA hardiness 9-12
Known Hazards Agave cantala is a species in the genus Agave which contains approximately 257 to 341 species and belongs to the family of the Agavaceae (Century-plant Family). The type species of the genus is Agave americana.
Habitats Not known as a truly wild plant
Range C. America to southern N. America - Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Agave_cantala Agave


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Agave_cantala Agave
Dinesh Valke wikimedia.org

 

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Summary

Agave: Agave cantala. Commonly grown in Southeast Asia from the Philippines to India, Agave (Agave cantala) is, a succulent, evergreen, perennial plant that forms a rosette of leaves that grows up to 2 m long. It forms a flowering stem of up to 8 m in height towards the end of its life. The shoot buds are cooked and eaten as a vegetable. It is often used in landscaping as hedgerows and along rivers and brooks for reducing soil erosion. The leaves are great source of fibre used for making baskets, mats, ropes, hammocks, sandals, fishing nets, bags, and harvest binding strings. The roots, on the other hand, can be of great source of saponins that can be used as substitute for soap.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Agave_cantala is an evergreen Perennial growing to 2 m (6ft) by 2 m (6ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10 and is frost tender.
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

Furcraea cantala Haw.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Shoot buds - cooked and eaten as a vegetable[317 ].

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

Other uses rating: High (4/5). Agroforestry Uses: Often planted as a hedge along the roadsides and in gardens, it is also used for reducing soil erosion along rivers and brooks[ 317 , 418 ]. Other Uses A fibre is obtained from the leaves[ 317 , 418 ]. It is mainly used for baskets, mats, fishing-nets, ropes, harvest binding strings, hammocks, bags and sandals[ 317 , 418 ]. The fibre is finer but less strong than that of sisal (Agave sisalana) and henequen (Agave fourcroydes)[ 418 ]. It is more suitable for spinning than that of sisal[ 317 ]. Wrapping paper is produced from the remainders[ 317 ]. The roots contain saponins and can be used as a soap substitute[ 331 ].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A plant of the drier tropics. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 17 - 30c, but can tolerate 10 - 38c[ 418 ]. It is able to withstand occasional temperatures down to at least -4?c, so long as the weather and soil are fairly dry[ 423 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,000 - 2,000mm, but tolerates 400 - 2,700mm[ 418 ]. Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 - 7.5, tolerating 6 - 8[ 418 ]. The leaves contain about 4% fibre and yields of clean fibre vary between 1.1 - 3 tonnes per hectare[ 418 ]. 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 ]. The plant has a lifespan of more than 15 - 30 years[ 418 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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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,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 - Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Agave: Agave cantala.

Coming Soon

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.

None known

Conservation Status

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

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Agave cantala agaveAgavePerennial2.0 9-12 FLMHNDM204

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

(Haw.) Roxb. 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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