Update on Agave Plant - Thread 65413 (Botanically gifted...)

Submitted: Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 20:04
ThreadID: 65439 Views:2015 Replies:1 FollowUps:2
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Hi all,

Attached are two better photos of the thread from last night (Thread 65413). Thanks to the response last night I learned that the plant is probably an Agave and possibly the Americanna species (I think).
Apparently they only flower once after the plant builds up enough starch – maybe after 30 to 50 years – and then they die. The flower stem is growing very fast (about 40cm in past 48 hours).
Does anyone know anymore about this amazing plant. Some varieties are used to produce tequila in Mexico. Does anyone know if this one is the Americanna species of Agave and if so can it be used for anything useful (syrup from flower stem or plant itself).
To Kiwi Kia – I could not reach the flower to see if had any smell but could not detect any significant odour from breaking the leaves. Maybe when the flower is in full bloom it may have a smell.
The two photos below are of 2 different plants growing about 25 metres apart. As you can see they are huge – many metres high with flower stem protruding 2 to 3 metres (so far) from top. It is also amazing that these 2 plants are flowering for the first time after 30 to 50 years simultaneously.
Thanks for any input.
Cheers,
GPM
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Reply By: troopyman - Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 20:54

Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 20:54
Yes i know something about it . They flower about every 10 to 15 years . They spread by seed dispersal and are a weed pest in some places . Do the native plants a favour and cut the stems off after flowering before the seeds develop . They die anyway , cheers .
AnswerID: 346079

Follow Up By: Saharaman (aka Geepeem) - Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 21:54

Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 21:54
Thanks,

Well we were on the wrong track last night afterall.
So it is a Furcraea selloa var. marginata (and not agave)

To be honest after it flowers I think I will chop it out completely as I think it is so dangerous with those sharp spikes. But as I have never seen one in flower before - I will wait til that happens.
Cheers
GPM
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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 07:28

Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 07:28
Saharaman, if it dies after flowering like the agave do then it will collapse all by itself (may take several months) so you might not have to don a stab proof vest and do some serious gardening after all :-))
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