Toumey's Century Plant


Agave toumeyana (Toumey's Century Plant)

Agave toumeyana (Toumey's Century Plant) is a succulent that forms rosettes of 40 to 70 green to yellowish-green leaves with white bud…

The Agave americana also goes by the common names of American aloe or century plant. It is part of the Asparagaceae family and can be found in areas that range from South America to Mexico. It's also known as Agave cactus, but it is not a cacti plant, just has some similarities.

It is an evergreen perennial succulent that can grow to a height of 1-1.5m. This is a plant that is hardy as it is able to tolerate low temperatures but cannot survive frosts.

The plant can live for up to 10 – 30 years, not quite a century.

Foliage: The foliage of the Century plant consists of rosettes that are rigid but rather fleshy along with leaves that have spiny edges. It is gray-green in color.

There is also the Agave americana marginata (variegated ) variety that displays green leaves with yellow edges which I find more attractive.

Flowering: The flowers of the Agave americana is green-yellow in color and can grow up to 8cm in length in clusters. These flowers grow on a large stem that reaches heights much taller than the actual plant.

This species is monocarpic which means it will only flower once in its lifetime then the plant dies. The lower stem will produce pups that can be removed and propagated.

Displaying: As this is a plant that requires full sun it will need to be displayed in a spot that has full sun and is also sheltered. It is commonly found in Architectural City and Courtyard Gardens along with Coastal Patios and containers.

Due to the size of the plant, it can be placed in a container but this would have to be a considerable size. It's best suited for conservatories, large hallways and large buildings because of its size.

During warmer months the Century plant will appreciate being placed outdoors.

Care level: This is a plant that is relatively easy to care for. Due to its habitat it is capable of handling warm, dry areas and due to the fact that it only needs moderate watering during the summer and nearly no watering in the winter, maintenance is simple.


Origin: South America.
Names: Century plant, Agave cactus, Maguey, American aloe (common). Agave americana (botanical/scientific).
Max Growth (approx): Height 1m - 1.5m.
Poisonous for pets: Toxic for cats and dogs.

Agarve americana in a botanical garden, Singapore

Agarve americana marginata in a tropical garden

Benefits of Growing the Majestic Century Plant

Apart from making your landscape stand out, the century plant is edible.

  • Bake the leaves or roast the flower stalks to get a fibrous meal.
  • Ground the seeds to get flour used for thickening soups or baking bread.
  • Tap and ferment the sap from the flower stalks to make pulque agave wine.

You get beauty, food, and wine from one plant. What more could a gardener ask for?

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Patrick says


Century plants are rosette-forming succulents with large, flat, thick leaves that contain a viscous sap. The leaves are sometimes spineless, sometimes have a spine on the tip, and sometimes have many spines running along the edges, like serrations. Height ranges by species, for example, American century plant (Agave americana), which grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through10, may grow to 6 feet, while Perry's agave (Agave parryi), which grows in USDA zones 7 through 10, may grow to 2 feet tall.

Watch the video: Century Plant Lifecycle

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