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Agave victoria-reginae

Typically, Agaves form large rosettes of tough, fibrous leaves which they use to store water. Agave victoria-reginae is one of the smallest and most attractive examples of the genus. Due to its popularity among gardeners, it almost vanished completely from its native habitat in a small area of northern Mexico.

On the other hand, some other species of Agave are extending their distribution area and difficult to control. You may have noticed Agave americana, also known as the century plant, while on vacation in the Mediterranean region. Its flower spikes can reach a height of 5 to 8 meters. Like the rest of the Agave family, it’s originally from the Americas, and was introduced to Europe in the 16th century as an ornamental plant. Since then, it has spread across the entire Mediterranean area like a weed.

It’s known as the century plant thanks to a mistaken belief that it only blooms once it’s a hundred years old. In fact, it usually blooms after a decade or two. As is typical for Agaves, the rosette of leaves dies after the plant blooms. But the plant itself often survives, developing new offshoots at the base. Agave americana is especially prone to producing these suckers. They rarely appear on Agave victoria-reginae, which usually reproduces through seeds.



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Agave victoria-reginae (MP3, 663 KB)

Audio production and copyright: Soundgarden Audioguidance GmbH
Text: Ehrentraud Bayer, Botanischer Garten München-Nymphenburg