Agave L. is the central genus of subfamily Agavoideae in the family of Asparagaceae, spreading from the southern US to central America. The name derives from Greek agavos, meaning grand, splendid, or illustrious. As the name implies, the original description of Agave consisted mostly of the giant "century plants", spiny, succulent leaf rosettes from desert habitats, which in some cases take decades to finally grow their often huge inflorescence as a last act of their monocarpic growth. The species we have on the wiki all belong to another group: In the early 2000s, phylogenetic studies revealed a set of species forming rhizomes or tubers to be nested within the species of Agave, causing them to be included in that bigger frame to keep Agave from being polyphyletic.

Though scientifically widely accepted, this move is highly counter-intuitive from a horticultural point of view, which is why we keep the former structure on the wiki, adding Agave as a linking and synonym lookup page for the former Bravoa, Manfreda, Polianthes and Prochnyanthes. Taking a step back, the new Agave now contains plants similar to the whole range of the subfamily Agavoideae from the leafy Hosta, Anthericum or Paradisea, the bulbous Camassia or Hesperocallis, to the more spiny and/or succulent Hesperaloe, Beschorneria and Yucca, and thus gives a certain logic to the, once again, counter-intuitive subfamily grouping.


Agave amica (Medik.) Thiede & Govaerts see Polianthes tuberosa

Agave bulliana (Baker) Thiede & Eggli see Prochnyanthes mexicana

Agave coetocapnia (M.Roem.) Govaerts & Thiede see Polianthes geminiflora (syn. Bravoa geminiflora)

Agave howardii (Verh.-Will.) Thiede & Eggli see Polianthes howardii

Agave longiflora (Rose) G.D.Rowley see Manfreda longiflora

Agave singuliflora (S.Watson) A.Berger see Manfreda singuliflora

Agave stictata Thiede & Eggli see Manfreda maculata

Agave undulata Klotzsch see Manfreda undulata

Agave variegata Jacobi see Manfreda variegata

Agave virginica L. see Manfreda virginica


Agave √óbundrantii (T.M.Howard) Thiede & Eggli see Polianthes √óbundrantii

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