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Close-up of the green leaves of the Agave americana succulent plant.
Agave is a genus of monocots. The plants are perennial, but each rosette flowers once and then dies; they are commonly known as the century plant.
In the APG III system, the genus is placed in the subfamily Agavoideae of the broadly circumscribed family Asparagaceae. Some authors prefer to place it in the segregate family Agavaceae. Traditionally, it was circumscribed to comprise about 166 species, but it is now usually understood to have about 208 species.Chiefly Mexican, agaves are also native to the southern and western United States and central and tropical South America. They are succulents with a large rosette of thick fleshy leaves, each ending generally in a sharp point and with a spiny margin; the stout stem is usually short, the leaves apparently springing from the root. Along with plants from the related genus Yucca, various Agave species are popular ornamental plants.
Succulent plants, also known as succulents or fat plants, are water-retaining plants adapted to arid climates or soil conditions. Succulent plants store water in their leaves, stems, and also in roots. Geophytes that survive unfavourable periods by dying back to underground storage organs such as tuberous roots, corms, bulbs, and rhizomes, may be regarded as succulents.
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February 22nd, 2011
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