Thursday, 29 January 2009

Furcraea hexapetala (Jacq.) Urb.

Furcraea hexapetala (Jacq.) Urb.
Symbolae Antillarum 4: 152. 1903.
Amaryllidaceae (Agavaceae)

Monserrate, 1870: There was a singularly beautiful Agave, called A. cubensis var. coccinea, which was entirely new to me.

Prof. Charles Daubeny writing in his guide to Oxford Botanic Garden, 1853: "In 1846 an Aloe, (Agave, or Furcroea cubensis,) grown in our stove, attracted much interest, by suddenly pushing forth a splendid raceme of flowers, which rose to the height of twenty-four feet. The earliest blossoms expanded on the first of October, and on the seventh of the same month the flowering stem had produced twenty-eight principal branches, on which and on the subordinate ones were no less than 1388 flowers and pseudo-bulbs. A multitude of the latter were interspersed amongst the blossoms as a provision for the future propagation of the plant, which dies exhausted by the great effort of producing a vast assemblage of flowers in so rapid a manner.
We have others, however, of this species, doubtless now in the act of preparing a store of nutriment, which will one day or other afford the means for a similar manifestation of vital energy."

Agave cubensis Jacq.
Selectarum Stirpium Americanarum Historia ... 100, t. 175, f. 28.
Agave hexapetala Jacq.
Jørgensen, P. M. & S. León-Yánez (eds.) 1999. Catalogue of the vascular plants of Ecuador.
Furcraea cubensis (Jacq.) Vent.
Bulletin de la Societe Philomatique de Paris 1: 66. 1793.

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