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Furcraea longaeva


A truly majestic and absolutely magnificent plant closely related to Agave, that forms a very large, dense crown up to 4 m (13 ft.) across. The crown holds up to 300 broad, succulent, slightly keeled and recurved, pale green to bluish leaves with smooth margins and sits atop a stocky trunk to 6 m (20 ft.) or more tall and 70 cm (28 in.) in diameter. It flowers only once in its life after somewhere between 10 and 25 years (not hundreds, as had been assumed in the past), and the giant flower stalk is a true spectacle that can reach to 6 m (20 ft.) or more tall. On top of the sizable trunk this can mean a total plant height of 12 m (40 ft.) or more, representing one of the largest flowering structures of any plant. Native to the Mexican states of Guerrero, Oaxaca and Puebla, it is found in dry scrubland or pine-oak-forest between 2200 and an astounding 3100 m (7200 and 10200 ft.). It does well in temperate and warm temperate regions and tolerates moderate freezes. Furcraea longaeva apparently does not produce bulbils like many in the genus. A smaller Furcraea frequently in cultivation under the name F. longaeva, however, does so in profusion, and it is likely these cultivated plants belong to a different species altogether. In essence, if you have plants in your collection labeled F. longaeva, they might not actually be that species.

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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches

Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

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