Century Plant
Share Foto info
Century Plant
ntroduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Agave, Century plant • Hindi: Kamal cactus कमल कैक्टस , Gwarpatha ग्वारपाठा • Manipuri: ꯀꯦꯋꯥ Kewa • Telugu: కిత్తనార Kittanara • Kannada: ಆನೆಕತ್ತಾಳೆ Aanekattaale, ದೆವ್ವಬಾಳೆ Devva baale, ರಾಕ್ಷಸಬಾಳೆ Raakshasa baale, ಭೂತಾಳೆ Bhootaale, ಕಲ್ನಾರು Kalnaaru, ಕತ್ತಾಳಿ Kattali, ಕತ್ತಾಳೆ Kattale, Kantala • Sanskrit: Kantala • Mizo: Kumza-pal
Botanical name: Agave americana    Family: Asparagaceae (Asparagus family)

Century Plant is an agave originally from Mexico but now cultivated worldwide. It has a spreading rosette, about 4 m wide, of gray-green leaves up to 6 ft. long, each with a spiny margin and a heavy spike at the tip. Its common name derives from its habit of only occasionally flowering, but when it does, the spike with a cyme of big yellow flowers, may reach up to 25 ft. in height. The plant dies after flowering, but produces suckers or adventitious shoots from the base, which continue its growth. The average life-span is around 25 years. If the flower stem is cut without flowering, a sweet liquid called agua miel ("honey water") gathers in the heart of the plant. This may be fermented to produce the drink called pulque, which may then be distilled to produce mezcal.

Identification credit: Rita Singh Photographed in Jamia Millia, Delhi.

• Is this flower misidentified? If yes,