Description: Arborescent or shrubby plants, stem sometimes very short, often suckering; plants often long-lived, flower only once and then die.
Leaves ± tufted, succulent, long-lived, spine-tipped, margins sometimes spinose-toothed.
Inflorescence paniculate, racemose or spicate with flowers in umbellate clusters, on a terminal scape. Flowers bisexual, ± pendent. Tepals similar or dissimilar, united into a tube or shallowly funnel-shaped. Stamens exserted. Ovary inferior, 3-locular; ovules in 2 rows per loculus; style stout; stigma 3-lobed.
Fruit a capsule; seeds flattened.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 300 species, America. Australia: 3 species (naturalized), Qld, N.S.W.
Agavehas commonly been included in the segregate family Agavaceae.
Text by G. J. Harden
|One species in NSW: Agave americana|