agave family


agave family
the plant family Agavaceae, characterized by herbaceous or woody plants having rhizomes, a basal cluster of toothed, sword-shaped leaves, and a tall, dense spike of flowers, including the agave, century plant, dracaena, sansevieria, sisal, and yucca.

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Family Agavaceae of the lily order (Liliales), comprising more than 700 species of short-stemmed, often woody plants found in tropical, subtropical, and temperate areas.

They have narrow, lance-shaped, sometimes fleshy or toothed leaves, which are clustered at the base of the plant. Most have large flower clusters. The fruit is a capsule or berry. Plants of the genus Agave are important primarily for the fibres obtained from their leaves. Sisal hemp, from A. sisalana, is the most valuable hard fibre. Some species of Agave contain a sap that is fermented to produce the intoxicating drinks known as tequila, pulque, and mescal. Many species of yucca are popular as ornamentals; other ornamentals in the agave family include plants of the genera Dasylirion, Nolina, Cordyline, Dracaena, and Sansevieria.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • agave family — noun chiefly tropical and xerophytic plants: includes Dracenaceae (Dracaenaceae); comprises plants that in some classifications are divided between the Amaryllidaceae and the Liliaceae • Syn: ↑Agavaceae, ↑family Agavaceae, ↑sisal family •… …   Useful english dictionary

  • agave family — aga′ve fam ily n. pln a family, Agavaceae, of fibrous low shrubs and plants with sword shaped leaves at the base of the stem and a tall spike of flowers: includes the agave, century plant, and yucca …   From formal English to slang

  • agave — [ə gä′vē] n. [ModL < Gr Agauē, a proper name, lit., illustrious, fem. of agauos, famous] any of several plants (genus Agave) of the agave family, as the century plant: some agaves yield a fiber used for rope adj. designating a family… …   English World dictionary

  • family Agavaceae — noun chiefly tropical and xerophytic plants: includes Dracenaceae (Dracaenaceae); comprises plants that in some classifications are divided between the Amaryllidaceae and the Liliaceae • Syn: ↑Agavaceae, ↑agave family, ↑sisal family • Hypernyms:… …   Useful english dictionary

  • agave — noun Etymology: New Latin Agave, genus name, from Latin, a daughter of Cadmus, from Greek Agauē Date: circa 1797 any of a genus (Agave of the family Agavaceae, the agave family) of plants having spiny margined leaves and flowers in tall spreading …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Agave — ID 1787 Symbol Key AGAVE Common Name agave Family Agavaceae Category Monocot Division Magnoliophyta US Nativity N/A US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution AZ, CA, FL, HI, LA, NM, NV, PR, TX, UT, VI Growth Habit N/A …   USDA Plant Characteristics

  • Agave deserti ssp. simplex — ID 1811 Symbol Key AGDES Common Name desert agave Family Agavaceae Category Monocot Division Magnoliophyta US Nativity Native to U.S. US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution AZ, CA Growth Habit Subshrub, Shrub, Forb/herb …   USDA Plant Characteristics

  • agave — /euh gah vee, euh gay /, n. any of numerous American plants belonging to the genus Agave, of the agave family, species of which are cultivated for economic or ornamental purposes: A. arizonica, of central Arizona, is an endangered species. [ < NL …   Universalium

  • Agave utahensis — ID 1854 Symbol Key AGUT Common Name Utah agave Family Agavaceae Category Monocot Division Magnoliophyta US Nativity Native to U.S. US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution AZ, CA, NV, UT Growth Habit Subshrub, Shrub, Forb/herb …   USDA Plant Characteristics

  • Agave deserti — ID 1808 Symbol Key AGDE Common Name desert agave Family Agavaceae Category Monocot Division Magnoliophyta US Nativity Native to U.S. US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution AZ, CA Growth Habit Subshrub, Shrub, Forb/herb …   USDA Plant Characteristics