|Agave, Agave macroacantha.|
Desert Botanical Garden of Phoenix Arizona, October 6, 2006.
|Agave, Agave macroacantha.||Agave, Agave macroacantha.|
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The Agave macroacantha rosette is composed of many narrow, grey - blue leaves, 10 - 12 inches long. The edges of the leaves have short, dark brown, serrated thorns and the tip has a thick, white - brown thorn of about 1 1/4 inches. The inflorescence is made up of a 6 foot stem with lateral branches holding groups of violet - green flowers. Often after the flowering there appear “pups”( already formed tiny plants) which fall to the ground, giving life to a new colony of Agaves.
Agave macroacantha is one of a few plants in Mexico used to make mezcal. Technically, tequila is a type of mezcal, however all mezcals are not tequila. To be a true tequila, it must be derived from Agave tequilana Weber azul, or more commonly known as the Webers Blue variety of Agave tequilana.The tequila also must be produced in the Mexican state of Jalisco, in the town of Tequila. We have been to Tequila and you can smell the fermenting for several miles away. Mezcal is made from one of 5 or 6 species of Agave. Agave macroacantha, is one used for mescal, not tequila.
Height: Dense rosette, 2 feet tall by 5 feet wide comprised of 10 to 16 inch wide rosettes.
Flowers: A large stalk emerges from the center of the plant, it becomes about 6 feet tall. Then pink or red buds emerge opening to purple-tinged green flowers from the stalk. It will die after flowering and will need to be replaced.
Flowering Time: Phoenix Arizona, Mid March - April.
Leaves: The leaves are blue - gray or light gray about 1 foot long by about 4 - 5 inches across. The leaf margins have dark brown teeth that are curved back towards the base of the plant.
Found: Native Oaxaca and Puebla States in Mexico. Found native on barren rocky ground in both the Mexican state of Oaxaca, and near the city of Tehuacán, in Puebla. We have been in this area for several days, and it is semi - tropical. Tehuacán is the second largest city in the Mexican state of Puebla, nestled in the Southeast Valley of Tehuacán, bordering the states of Oaxaca and Veracruz.
Hardiness: Hardy to about 25° F. USDA Zone 9b, judging by where it grows naturally in Mexico. Said by some growers to survive at 20 °F.
Soil pH requirements:
Elevation: 0 - 2,100 feet. In Arizona.
Habitat: It grows well in sand, sandy loam. It needs good drainage and aeration. It is remarkably tolerant of alkali. Does not take frost.
Miscellaneous: Maintenance: Low. Photos Taken; Desert Botanical Garden of Phoenix Arizona, October 6, 2006.
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