Spermatophyta: Monocotyledonae: Asparagales

Agavaceae - Sisal family

Bailey, L.H. (1949) Manual of Cultivated Plants Revised edition. Macmillan, New York.

Chase, M.W., Reveal, J.L. & Fay, M.J. (2009) A subfamilial classification for the expanded asparagalean families Amaryllidaceae, Asparagaceae and Xanthorrhoeaceae. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161 132-136

Lock, J.M. (2008) Agavaceae Flora Zambesiaca 13(1)

Walters, S.M. et al. (eds) (1986) The European Garden Flora. Vol. I. Pteridophyta, Gymnospermae, Angiospermae-Monocotyledons (Part I). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

Description of the family

Monocarpic or perennial plants. Stems short or 0, sometimes trunk-like. Leaves large, borne in rosettes, often succulent, usually hard, leathery and spine-tipped. Inflorescence a large spike or panicle. Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic; perianth segments 6, united for most of their length. Stamens 6. Ovary inferior, 3-locular. Fruit a capsule. Seeds numerous, flattened, black.

Comment: - A number of species of this family are naturalized in Zimbabwe. However, the names of most these plants are not always clear.
- Genera included by us under Agavaceae are nowadays often placed as subfamily Agavoideae under Asparagaceae. However, we have followed the more traditional treatment for the time being.

Worldwide: 13 genera and 210 species, tropical and warm zones, especially arid America.

Zimbabwe: 7 cultivated genera and 15 cultivated taxa.

Furcraea foetida

Links to cultivated genera:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this family

Agave L.Description, Image
Beschorneria KunthDescription
Cordyline Comm. ex R.Br.Description, Image
Furcraea Vent.Description, Image
Hesperaloe Englem.
Polianthes S. WatsonDescription
Yucca L.Description

Other sources of information about Agavaceae:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Agavaceae
Flora of Botswana: cultivated Agavaceae
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Agavaceae
Flora of Malawi: Agavaceae
Flora of Malawi: cultivated Agavaceae
Flora of Mozambique: Agavaceae
Flora of Mozambique: cultivated Agavaceae
Flora of Zambia: Agavaceae
Flora of Zambia: cultivated Agavaceae
Flora of Zimbabwe: Agavaceae

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Agavaceae
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Agavaceae
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Agavaceae
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Agavaceae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Agavaceae
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Agavaceae
JSTOR Plant Science: Agavaceae
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Agavaceae
Wikipedia: Agavaceae
Plants of the World Online: Agavaceae
Tropicos: Agavaceae

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Cultivated plants: Family page: Agavaceae.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/cult/family.php?family_id=2, retrieved 16 April 2024

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