Agave attenuata is a species of agave sometimes known as the “lion’s tail,” “swan’s neck,” or “foxtail” for its development of a curved stem, unusual among agaves.
Their common name is century plant because it is said to take years to flower and after doing so it dies.
The genus (botanic) name Agave comes from the Greek meaning admirable, referring to the handsome appearance of the plant in flower.
Native to Mexico this plant will grow in most parts of Australia.
Creamy coloured flowers are produced after about 10 years’ growth (although this varies with the location of the plant).
Many agaves are spiky, dangerous plants however the foliage of this species is non-spiky, making it welcome in any garden.
It has broad, grey green leaves 50-70cm (20-28″) long.
After flowering the flower spike which grows to about 1.5 m will die but suckers from the new plant will form at the bottom of the old plant meaning it will continue to grow in your garden.
The plant forms seeds readily so could be grown from seed.
Its best use is as an interesting succulent in the garden especially if used as a feature plant.
Plant them in a terracotta pot and they will last for years and add texture to the garden.
It needs to be grown in open sunny position in a well-drained soil & needs protection from frost.
The stems typically range from 50 to 150 cm in length, and eventually old leaves fall off, leaving them visible. The leaves are 50–70 cm long and 12–16 cm wide, pale in color, ranging from a light gray to a light yellowish green.