agave

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Agave

(əgā`vē): see PentheusPentheus
, in Greek mythology, king of Thebes, son of Cadmus' daughter Agave. When Dionysus came to Thebes, Pentheus denied his divinity and tried to prevent his ecstatic rites. The women of Thebes, led by Agave, were driven mad by the offended god and tore Pentheus to pieces.
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agave:

see amaryllisamaryllis
, common name for some members of the Amaryllidaceae, a family of mostly perennial plants with narrow, flat leaves and with lilylike flowers borne on separate, leafless stalks.
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agave

agave

A desert emergency food used for production of sugar and syrup. Common landscaping ornamental plant, looks like Aloe, but thicker leaves, (not related to aloe) sometimes more bluish or grey-green, or whitish sharp spikes. When it flowers, a thick vertical stem shoots out of the middle straight up, (sometimes to 40ft!) (12m) with clusters of tubular yellow-green flowers which are edible. They take a long time until they flower, sometimes years. These center stalks are edible when young. Leave a hole where the stalk used to be and it will fill with sap, “agave syrup”, a sweetener. The “heart” is edible- the clump between leaves and root. Leaves can be eaten but aren’t that great NOTE: juice is caustic and can cause skin rash and burn eyes. Best to cook or roast the leaves, then eat, spitting out the fiber. Juice can be boiled to make soap that lathers. Sap is antiseptic, used for diarrhea, dysentery, constipation, diuretic. Root can be boiled and eaten but handle carefully when raw- quite caustic. Roots used to treat syphilis. Unlike other plants, agaves are better the older they get. Seeds, roots, heart can be ground into flour. Water in which agave leaf fiber has been soaked for a day can be used as a scalp disinfectant and tonic for people losing hair. Steroid drug precursors are obtained from the leaves. Edible ones- americana, atrovirens, cantala, chrysantha, complicata, crassipina, deserti, palmeri, paryi, salmiana, scabra, shawii, sisalana, tequilana, utahensis. Non edible- A. lechuguilla.

Agave

 

a plant genus of the amaryllis family. The stem is short, with a rosette of big leaves; in many strains the leaves are fleshy and prickly. The agave blooms from its sixth to its 15th year (rarely later) and forms a floriferous shoot (up to 12 m high) with many blossoms (up to 17,000). When the fruit is ripe, the part of the plant above the ground dies, and in many strains new plants grow from the root stock.

There are more than 300 wild strains of agave in Mexico and the adjoining areas. The agave was exported to Europe soon after the discovery of America. The most frequently cultivated strain is the Agave americana, which is grown as a decorative plant in the Mediterranean area. In the USSR it is grown in the parks of the southern shore of the Crimea and the Black Sea shore of the Caucasus.

The leaves of many agave strains are used to make ropes, strings, binder twines, mats, packing material, and other coarse fabrics; the wastes are used to make paper, primarily wrapping paper. Some agave strains are grown for fiber in the tropical zones of both hemispheres. Some of the most valuable strains are the Agave sisalana, which yields sisal, the Agave fouteroydes, which yields henequen (Yucatán sisal), and the Agave cantala, which yields cantala. The sugary juice of the Agave atrovirens and other strains, which is extracted before the blossoming, is used to make alcoholic beverages such as pulque and mescal. In Mexico the roots of some agave strains are used in medicine. The Agave americana, Agave attenuata, Agave victoriaereginae, and many others are grown as novel house and greenhouse plants.

agave

any plant of the genus Agave, native to tropical America, with tall flower stalks rising from a massive, often armed, rosette of thick fleshy leaves: family Agavaceae. Some species are the source of fibres such as sisal or of alcoholic beverages such as pulque and tequila