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Agave tequilana

Agave tequilana F.A.C Weber

Agave palmaris Trelease

Agave pedrosana Trelease

Agave subtilis Trelease

Blue Agave, Weber’s Agave

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassLiliidaeIncludes lilies, orchids, and many others
OrderAsparagalesA diverse group that includes asparagus
FamilyAsparagaceaeAgaves, asparagus, hyacinths, and others
GenusAgaveFrom Greek, meaning “noble”
SpeciestequilanaNamed for Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico, its place of origin

About plant names...

Agave tequilana is native to a small area near Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico. It is now widely cultivated.

Identification: This agave has a rosette 4-6' (1.2-1.8 m) tall. Unlike most agaves, the rosette is on top of a very short stem, less than 6" (15 cm) tall and looking a little like a crushed pineapple. Rigid, swordlike, blue-gray or green-gray leaves form a nearly perfect circle. Leaves are lined with regularly spaced teeth, and are 35-47" (88-119 cm) long and 3-5" (7.6-12 cm) wide. The flowering spike is 16-20' (4.9-6.1 m) tall, with 20-25 branches. Flowers are green, with red stamens.

Edibility: Blue agave is best known as the only agave that may be used to make tequila, named after the town where the plant grows naturally. The same substance that is fermented to produce tequila, called fructosan, can be substituted for sugar by those, such as diabetics, on a low-glycemic diet. The fructosan tastes much sweeter than sugar, but does not cause the spike in glucose levels that simpler sugars cause.

References:

Irish, Mary & Irish, Gary, Agaves, Yuccas and Related Plants: A Gardener’s Guide, Timber Press, 2000, p. 171

Online References:

Agave tequilana on PlantWorlds (great photos)

Agave tequilana on Desert-tropicals.com

Agave tequilana on SucculentGuide.com

Agave tequilana on Forest and Kim Starr’s Starr Environmental site

Agave tequilana description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Agave tequilana (Blue Agave, Weber’s Agave)

2/24/2010 · San Diego (Quail) Botanic Garden, Encinitas, CA ID is uncertain

Agave tequilana (Blue Agave, Weber’s Agave)

5/22/2009 · Slide Rock State Park, Sedona, AZ
≈ 32 × 29" (82 × 74 cm) ID is uncertain

Range: Zones 9b-11:

About this map...