Agave americana L.

Century Plant

Sp. Pl. 323 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Large rosetted herb, c. 2–3.5 m wide, spreading by rhizomes (suckers). Leaves 100–200 cm long and 15–25 cm wide. Inflorescence paniculate, arborescent, 5–10 m tall, scape bracts large, triangular. Flowers 7–10 cm long, greenish-yellow; perianth segments fused for 1–2 cm at the base, petals longer than sepals; stamens exserted by c. 2–5 cm; ovary 3–4.5 cm long. Capsule obloid, 4–6 cm long, 2–3 cm wide, beaked; seeds numerous, 7–8.5 mm long and 5–7 mm wide. Flowers Dec.–Feb.

*CVU, *GipP, *Gold, *HNF, *HSF, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP. Also Qld, NSW. Native to southern North America. Widely planted and often persisting in abandoned gardens. Naturalized in near-coastal vegetation near Portland and Geelong, and in drier localities near Wangaratta and metropolitan Melbourne. The plants often produce bulbils instead of setting seed.

Plants with longitudinally white- or cream-striped leaves are referable to A. americana var. picta (Salm.) Terrac.; however, the distribution or presence of stripes is recorded as being variable within seedlings from the same parent plant, and the recognition of the variety seems to be of little value outside horticulture.

Source: Conran, J.G.; Walsh, N.G. (1994). Agavaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Asparagales
family Asparagaceae
genus Agave
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Agave americana in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Agave americana in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory