|Description||Agave is a genus of monocots. The plants are perennial, but each rosette flowers once and then dies. Some species are known by the name century plant.
In the APG III system, the genus is placed in the subfamily Agavoideae of the broadly circumscribed family Asparagaceae. Some authors prefer to place it in the segregate family Agavaceae. Traditionally, it was circumscribed to be composed of about 166 species, but it is now usually understood to have about 208 species.
Chiefly Mexican, agaves are also native to the southern and western United States and central and tropical South America. They are succulents with a large rosette of thick, fleshy leaves, each ending generally in a sharp point and with a spiny margin; the stout stem is usually short, the leaves apparently springing from the root. Along with plants from the related genus Yucca, various Agave species are popular ornamental plants.
Each rosette is monocarpic and grows slowly to flower only once. During flowering, a tall stem or "mast" grows from the center of the leaf rosette and bears a large number of short, tubular flowers. After development of fruit, the original plant dies, but suckers are frequently produced from the base of the stem, which become new plants.|