Agave americana var. expansa

Common Name: Century Plant, Maguey
Oˊodham Name: Aˊuḍ   (Aˊudt)    Audio
Group: Succulents - Desert

Agave americana var. expansa is the largest agave found in the Sonoran Desert, sometimes reaching 8 feet wide and tall. A native of the deserts of north central Mexico, this species was originally planted in the Sonoran Desert as an ornamental and has since become naturalized in urban areas and the deserts of south central Arizona. The leaves vary slightly from pale green to glaucous (bluish-green), according to the seasonal level of heat and water stress. Leaves are semi rigid and have marginal teeth typically 1/2 inch long. The outer surface of each leaf has a strong bud print, an imprint of the inside of the next outer leaf created as the leaf forms at the center of the rosette. Agave expansa usually produces offsets after reaching a height of 2 to 3 feet. Like all agaves, it flowers once at the end of its life by erupting a massive flower stalk that reaches a height of around 15 feet. Found on ranches, in towns, and in open desert below 4000 ft.

entire plant
entire plant
entire plant
bud prints
marginal teeth

Kingdom Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida - Monocotyledons
Subclass Liliidae
Order Liliales
Family Agavaceae - Century-plant family
Genus Agave L. - agave
Species Agave americana L. - American century plant
Subspecies Agave americana L. ssp. americana - American century plant
Variety Agave americana L. ssp. americana var. expansa (Jacobi) Gentry - American century plant
More Information
USDA Plant Profile and Map

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