by Stephen Mifsud
   27 Sep 2020      ()
External Links:

Agave americana   (American Agave)

Agave americana  (ASPARAGACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands at or after year 2000.

Page Contents + Links

Nomenclature and Basic Information Images
External Links Support and sales
Submit information Website FORUM
Sponsors & Adverts Copyright notes
Asparagaceae Index Plant Family Index
This profile is brought to you by one of the website's sponsors.
[read more...]
Profile Date Oct-2010 (last update: 12-Jan-2019)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (Oct-2010) Agave americana retrieved from on 2020-Sep-27

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Agave americanaL.
Published in Sp. Pl. 323 (1753).

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

No Main Synonyms
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life ]

Plant Family :

Asparagaceae Juss. (=Liliaceae) (The Asparagus Family)
32 species from the Asparagaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

American Agave, Century Plant, American Aloe

Maltese name(s) :

Sabbara tal-Amerika, Agave

Status for Malta :

Species that was introduced in Malta after year 1492, but usually more recently and spreads rapidly to form large invasive populations to the detriment of native flora or ecosystems

Frequency :

Very Common     Common     Frequent     Scarce     Rare     Very rare     Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: Macro-Phanerophyte (high trees usually over 10m )
Germination [info]: Monocotyledon

Legal Protection [link]:

Not Protected by Law (LN200/2011 or LN311/2006)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

All Year

Colour of Flowers:

Green or Cream

Remarks :

Introduced as an ornamental plant and became invasive in several wild places namely by the coast. Examples include Bahar ic-Caghaq (near Maghtab), Ghar Lapsi and Ta' Cenc. Flowers are produced once in the plant's lifetime, after 10 to 100 years and then the plant dies. The flowering stalk is impressively large and tall and holds both seed-producing flowers (sexual reproduction) and reproductive plantlets (asexual reproduction).

Species Description and Distribution

Habitat in Europe:

Widely naturalized, mainly near the coast.

Preferred habitat in Malta:

Data will be available in the next update of this website.

Botanical Description:

Very robust, stoloniferous herb; stem scarcely developed. Leaves 1-2 m x 15-25 cm, constricted above the broad, sheathing base, glaucous, remotely spinose-dentate, with a stout, blackish terminal spine 2-3 cm long. Scape (including inflorescence) 4-7(-10) m. Peduncle 8-15 cm in diameter, woody at maturity, equal to or shorter than the panicle, bearing triangular, leaf-like bracts. Panicle pyramidal; flowers aggregated in dense clusters at the ends of horizontal branches; leafy buds sometimes present in axils of bracteoles, replacing some or all of the flowers. Flowers (including ovary) 70-90 mm; perianth-segments linear-oblong, obtuse, erect, greenish-yellow. Filaments 70-80 mm, inserted on the hypanthial tube; anthers 30-35 mm. Capsule oblong, trigonous.

Distributional range:

Mediterranean region, C. & S. Portugal and Azores.

Native region outside Europe:


Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):

Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):

Introduced in Albania, the Azores, the Balaeric Islands, Corse, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta

Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(Euro+Med Checklist, 2017) - Country codes

[AE(G) Al Az Bl Ca Co Cr Ga Gr Hs It Ju Li Lu Ma Md Sa Si Tu(A)]

Images (19 images)
   Agave americana   -   Image Code: AGVAM-0.
   Agave americana   -   Image Code: AGVAM-1.
   Agave americana   -   Image Code: AGVAM-2.
   Agave americana   -   Image Code: AGVAM-3.
   Agave americana   -   Image Code: AGVAM-4.
   Agave americana   -   Image Code: AGVAM-5.
   Agave americana   -   Image Code: AGVAM-6.
   Agave americana   -   Image Code: AGVAM-7.
   Agave americana   -   Image Code: AGVAM-8.
   Agave americana   -   Image Code: AGVAM-9.
   Agave americana   -   Image Code: AGVAM-10.
   Agave americana   -   Image Code: AGVAM-11.
   Agave americana   -   Image Code: AGVAM-12.
   Agave americana   -   Image Code: AGVAM-13.
   Agave americana   -   Image Code: AGVAM-14.
   Agave americana   -   Image Code: AGVAM-15.
   Agave americana   -   Image Code: AGVAM-16.
   Agave americana   -   Image Code: AGVAM-17.
   Agave americana   -   Image Code: AGVAM-18.

Links & Further info

Google Web

Google Images

Yahoo Web

Yahoo Images




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



The Plant List


Vienna Virt. Hb.





Buy Seeds and Docs
Seeds of wild plants for sale for studies, trials, research, or personal use. Note that not all species' seeds can be exported (depending on Maltese regulations and CITES). Availability depends on season. For these reasons you are kindly requested to first fill and submit a quotation form by which you will get confirmation of the purchase, availability and charges.   Online Quotation (Seeds)

  Online Purchase (Seeds)
Buy images found in this large collection of Maltese flora. Prices reasonable and rated differently according size and resolution. Please note that all images are copyright of the author. Buying images for your projects will support this website. To buy images please take not of the image code specific for every image (found beneath each individual photo) since this is required when filling the online ordering form.   Online Purchase (Images)
Kindly consider support this website by giving a small donation. This will help to cover some expenses needed to maintain the website and its further development. Please bear in mind how much hard work such a large and up-to-date website about the flora of Malta requires.   Online Donation

Submit further info on this species
Use this form to submit more information on this species or report mistakes in this webpage. If information supplied is taken from a book, journal or website, please provide the corresponding reference or website address. Your email address is only for internal communication. Please report only Maltese locations for plants that indicated as rare or very rare (refer to the Nomenclature section). Please do report mistakes, broken links, technical errors, silly typing / grammar errors, misidentifications or taxonomical updates; this will help to improve the website's accuracy. Thanks you! Fill any of the three sections (A/B/C) below and kindly submit the form.     * = required fields.
Plant Species:  *
Your name:   * Your Email:   *
Section A:  Additional Information about this plant species
Own observations: Info from published material (books, journals, website):
Reference of published material:
Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
Locations in Malta or Gozo where you have seen this plant. Only applies for rare plants.

1:       2:       3:   
4:       5:       6:   
Try to be as concise as possible. Examples: Dingli Cliffs (near chapel), Wied Incita (Zebbug side), Triq il-Kbira (Qormi), Barriera ta' Ghajn Abdul (Xlendi), Fields East of Salib tal-gholja (Siggiewi). GPS co-ordinates are also welcomed!
Section C:  Corrections for mistakes and errors in this plant profile
Section of this page where you found an error (select one)
What is the error/mistake and suggest a correction
AntiSpam Verification: Please answer these simple questions:   20 + 2 =     This website is about
       is supported by:
[ EcoGozo, Ministry for Gozo ] [ Projects in Motion ] [ Sunrise Pet & Garden Centre] [ MycoMalta ]
Webpage is copyright of Stephen Mifsud / - (2002-2018)