Overview

Comprehensive Description

In Mexico, Agave angustifolia depends on bees, wasps, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, orioles, sphingids and nectar-feeding bats (Molina-Freaner & Eguirte, 2003: 1019). The migratory nectar-feeding bat Leptonycteris curasoae is the main and the most effective pollinator of A. angustifolia. The plant species produces greater nocturnal nectar secretions than during the day, when the bat is most active. In addition, flower maturation occurs when the bat is present during spring and summer months (Molina-Freaner & Eguirte, 2003: 1022). Agave angustifolia flowers January to May. Fruits start developing in February to April and are mature May to July (Molina-Freaner & Eguirte, 2003: 1021).

Agave angustifolia is traditionally used by the indigenous groups in Mexico as a source of fiber to make ropes and ties (Valenzuela-Zapata et al., 2011: 76).

References

Molina-Freaner, F. & Eguiarte, L. E. 2003. The pollination biology of two paniculate agaves (Agavaceae) from northwestern Mexico: contrasting roles of bats as pollinators. American Journal of Botany 90: 1016-1024. available at: http://www.amjbot.org/content/90/7/1016.full#cited-by; accessed on: Oct 9, 2012.

Valenzuela-Zapata, A. G., Lopez-Muraira, I. & Gaytan, M. S. 2011. Traditional Knowledge, Agave inaequidens(Koch) Conservation, and the Charro Lariat Articans of San Miguel Cuyután, Mexico. Society of Ethnobiology 2: 72-80.

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Agave angustifolia has a paniculate inflorescence growing or arranged in a panicle (Hansen & Wunderlin, 2011: 64). The agave family overall has an inferior ovary and leaf margin usually with prickles or spines. Agave angustifolia has blue-green leaf blades that are 5-12 centimeters wide. Agave angustifolia has a perianth, which is the outer part of the flower, consisting of sepals and petals, segments that distinctly unite below forming a tube. Leaf margin is entirely or with a few irregularly spaced teeth. The flower is a tall, diffuse panicle and the flowers are 5-6.5 cm long. The leaves have white or pale yellow margins, perianth segments (Hansen & Wunderlin, 2011: 64).

References

Hansen, B. F. & Wunderlin, R. P. Agave, 64. In: Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida, Gainesville, Fl: University Press of Florida.

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Distribution

Widely cultivated.
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Throughout its range in North America and Mexico, Agave angustifolia is greatly polymorphic, or found in in several forms (Molina-Freaner & Eguirte, 2003: 1018). Agave angustifolia is found in Florida in the counties of Martin, Sarasota, Broward, and Miami-Dade (Wunderlin & Hansen, 2012). Agave angustifolia ranges from northern tropical areas to tropical deserts.

References

Molina-Freaner, F. & Eguiarte, L. E. 2003. The pollination biology of two paniculate agaves (Agavaceae) from northwestern Mexico: contrasting roles of bats as pollinators. American Journal of Botany 90: 1016-1024. available at: http://www.amjbot.org/content/90/7/1016.full#cited-by; accessed on: Oct 9, 2012.

Wunderlin, R. P. & B. F. Hansen. 2008. Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants; available at: http://www.plantatlas.usf.edu/; accessed on Oct 9, 2012.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Agave angustifolia

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Wikipedia

Agave angustifolia

Agave angustifolia (Variegated Caribbean Agave) is a plant which is native to Mexico. It is used to make mezcal and also as an ornamental plant.

This plant is also found in Antigua.

Agave angustifola and Agave vivipara are often used interchangeably, though most authors maintain them as distinct species with non-overlapping native distributions (García-Mendoza and Fernando Chiang 2003).

A. angustifolia has narrow, stiffly erect leaves with moderately-spaced spines, producing capsules, not bulibiferous; whereas A. vivipara is described as having shorter, recurved leaves with short-spaced spines and bulbiferous.

A. vivipara is likely similar to A. karatto. The A. vivipara of Miller (1768) and Smith et al. (2008) seem different, of a much smaller habit and narrower leaves, from the A. vivipara of Trelease (1913) and García-Mendoza and Fernando Chiang (2003), of a much larger habit.

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