In communities of drought-tolerant (xerophytic) plants, succulents are often the dominant type of vegetation. Succulents have aroused the curiosity of botanists. Hmm, having a talk about succulents, I want to tell u much about Agaves. Do you know what agaves are?
Agaves are found in diverse habitats from dry and temperate forest to grassland, savanna, shrub land, desert, and scrub. A number of Agave species are important commercial crops. Is it commercial? Yeah, maybe some of you only know that agaves only shrub and disgusting plant. No, you definitely wrong if you only think that agaves only plants like that. Yes, it can be a commercial plant, but just a number of species.
A number of species agaves have precious liquid. Agave sap has been used to make liquor for millennia. When the plants approach flowering maturity, the leaves are cut off and the “hearts” or “pinas”, weighting up to 80kg, harvested and crushed.
Pulque, produced from fermented juice, and must be drunk after it is made. The species most used for this are Agave salmiana and Agave mapisaga. But the best drink is tequila, distilled from the fermented sap of Agave tequilana. Tequila can only be distilled from agaves which its leaves are blue.
Agave mapisaga (the giant agave)
Agaves leaves also contain though fibers that were worked into cord and cloth by the Maya and Aztecs before the Spanish invasion. Sisal, takes from a port in Yucatan, Mexico, from where the fibers were shipped. Obtain from the leaves from Agave sisalana, sisal is still preferred to synthetic materials for many uses, because of its strength, resistance to stretching, and durability when exposed to heat, sunlight and saltwater. This species grows very easily in mild, temperate, and even tropical climates. So, because it can live in tropical climates, its means that Agave sisalana can also grow easily in Indonesian. And it could be a chance to our farmers to get highly profit to plant them, and produce sisal for export.
And it’s important for you to know, that agaves are “Monocarpic” plants. It takes a long time in vegetative phase, and then, when they are in generative phase, they would spread a very big terminal plentiful flower. And when they finish to having pollination, the flowers will die soon, and also the agaves it self. Having flowers, and then dying.
Marinelli, Janet. 2004. Plant. Dorling Kindersley Limited. London.