AGAVE AMERICANA, L. Flowering Aloes. Maguey of Mexico. Zabara of Cuba, Spain, and Sicily. From Carolina and Florida to Mexico. Valuable economical plant. Radical leaves evergreen, 2 to 6 feet long, the inside is edible after coction, tasting like lemonade. The juice flowing from the young central leaves cut off is sweetish, by fermentation it produces the Pulque or Mexican beer; by coction, syrup, honey, and sugar can be made of it. The old leaves dressed like flax, produce a strong white silky thread; the Mexican cloth and papar were made from it, also fine fringe and lace. The central stem grows in a few months 18 to 20 feet high, bearing a beautiful pyramid of yellow blossoms. It is a false notion to suppose that it blossoms only once in 100 years; this happens once in 15 to 25 years, and afterwards the plant dies, but the root sends off lateral offsets. The stems are used for light rafts and posts; cattle and sheep feed on the blossoms. Cultivated for hedges and use in Mexico, Spain, Sicily, and Barbary. Worthy of attention in Florida.
AGAVE VIRGINICA, L. Virginia Aloes, Rattlesnake master. Root bitter, tincture used for cholics, chewed in obstinate diarrhoea by the Cherokees, violent, but efficient.