century plant

any New World plant of the genus Agave, requiring many years to mature and blooming once before dying, esp. the widely cultivated species A. americana, having leaves in a basal rosette and a tall flower stalk.
[1755-65, Amer.]

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Species of agave (Agave americana), of Mexico and the southwestern U.S. It takes many years (from five to 100) to mature, flowers only once, and then dies.

It is widely cultivated for its large spiny leaves and enormous flower cluster, and may reach 20 ft (6 m) in height. Century plants provide the distinctive ingredient for the alcoholic drinks pulque and mescal.

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      member of the agave family of flowering plants. See Agavaceae.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Century plant — Century Cen tu*ry, n.; pl. {Centuries}. [L. centuria (in senses 1 & 3), fr. centum a hundred: cf. F. centurie. See {Cent}.] 1. A hundred; as, a century of sonnets; an aggregate of a hundred things. [Archaic.] [1913 Webster] And on it said a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • century plant — ☆ century plant n. a tropical American desert agave (Agave americana) having fleshy leaves and a tall stalk that bears greenish flowers only once after 10 to 30 years and then dies: mistakenly thought to bloom only once a century …   English World dictionary

  • Century Plant — See Pita Fibre …   Dictionary of the English textile terms

  • century plant — Maguey Mag uey, n. [Sp. maguey, Mexican maguei and metl.] (Bot.) Any of several species of {Agave}, such as the {century plant} ({Agave Americana}), a plant requiring many years to come to maturity and blossoming only once before dying; and the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • century-plant — amerikinė agava statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Agavinių šeimos dekoratyvinis, vaistinis nuodingas augalas (Agave americana), paplitęs Šiaurės Amerikoje. Naudojamas svaigiesiems gėrimams gaminti. atitikmenys: lot. Agave americana angl.… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • century plant — agava statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Agavinių (Agavaceae) šeimos augalų gentis (Agave). atitikmenys: lot. Agave angl. agave; century plant vok. Agave rus. агава lenk. agawa …   Dekoratyvinių augalų vardynas

  • century plant — /ˈsɛntʃəri plænt/ (say senchuhree plant) noun a Mexican species of agave, Agave americana, cultivated for ornament, and popularly supposed not to blossom until a century old …   Australian English dictionary

  • century plant — noun tropical American plants with basal rosettes of fibrous sword shaped leaves and flowers in tall spikes; some cultivated for ornament or for fiber • Syn: ↑agave, ↑American aloe • Hypernyms: ↑desert plant, ↑xerophyte, ↑xerophytic plant,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • century plant — cen′tury plant n. pln a desert agave, Agave americana, having a tall flower stalk emerging from a rosette of leaves, that requires a decade or more to mature and blooms only once • Etymology: 1755–65, amer …   From formal English to slang

  • century plant — noun Date: 1764 a Mexican agave (Agave americana) that takes many years to mature, flowers only once, and then dies …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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