Agave Plant - JC Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh, NC 3-24-11
Most agaves are monocarpic, meaning they only flower once, then the mother plant dies, leaving young offsets or pups. Flowering commonly takes 10-15 years to occur in a garden, and often 100 years in the wild. During flowering, a tall asparagus-like stalk grows vertically from the center of the plant. When mature, this stalk may branch and produce many short tubular flowers. Agaves are often called woody lilies. They form a rosette of thick fleshy leaves that each end in sharp spine. They are low maintenance plants that perform best in well-drained soils and full sun.