T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Furcraea longaeva

Kingdom:   Plantae
Clade:       Angiosperms
Clade:       Monocots
Order:       Asparagales
Family:      Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus:      Furcraea
Species: F. longaeva
Binominal name: Furcraea longaeva

Furcraea longaeva is native to the Mexican states of Guerrero, Oaxaca and Puebla.  It is a rosette-forming, perennial, yucca-like plant with upright sword-like grey to blue-green leaves (height and spread to about 1.5m). The leaves are not vicious as there are no spines on the leaf tips.
Furcraea longaeva is a monocarpic plant as it flowers, set seeds and then dies. It flowers only once in its life after somewhere between 10 and 25 years. In summer a mature plants produces from the centre of the leaf rosette an extremely large spike of pendent branches bearing pale green to white flowers.  It can reach a height of 4m. The flowers are followed by bulbils which are tiny secondary bulbs that form in the angle between a leaf and stem. Bulbils also called offsets when full-sized they fall to the ground and start growing as new plants.

Etymology: Furcraea named after Comte Antoine Francois de Fourcroy, 18th century French pioneer animal and plant chemist. Longaeva from Latin longaeva meaning long lived.



The pendent branches on the stalk.


The flower.


One bloom and the bulbils.


The seed capsule.