Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Agave americana (century plant).

Abstract

A. americana is a large, rhizomatous succulent that grows in a wide range of habitats and soil types. Additionally, it is tolerant to salt spray, high temperatures, and extreme drought. Because this species spread by seeds, but also vegetatively by bulbils and rhizomes, it has the potential to escape from cultivation and rapidly colonize disturbed sites, roadsides, bare sand and coastal areas (ISSG, 2016). Currently, A. americana is considered a serious environmental weed by the IUCN (ISSG, 2016) and it is listed as invasive in many countries in Europe as well as in China, Japan, South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania, Bermuda, Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia among others (BioNET-EAFRINET, 2016; ISSG, 2016; DAISIE, 2016; PIER, 2016; Weeds of Australia, 2016). It is also known to have become invasive in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, and Uganda.