agave


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Agave \A*ga"ve\ ([.a]*g[=a]"v[-e]), prop. n. [L. Agave, prop.
   name, fr. Gr. 'agayh`, fem. of 'agayo`s illustrious, noble.]
   (Bot.)
   A genus of plants (order Amaryllidaceae) of which the chief
   species is the maguey or century plant (Agave Americana),
   wrongly called Aloe. It takes from ten to seventy years,
   according to climate, to attain maturity, when it produces a
   gigantic flower stem, sometimes forty feet in height, and
   perishes. The juice has purgative and diuretic properties.
   The fermented juice is the pulque of the Mexicans;
   distilled, it yields mescal. A strong thread and a tough
   paper are made from the leaves, and the wood has many uses.
   [1913 Webster]
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