About the Tequila Agave Plant

Overview

Agave tequilana, also called "blue agave" and "tequila agave," is a large succulent plant prized for its role as the key ingredient in tequila. Tequila agave is native to Jalisco, a state in western central Mexico.

Tequila comes from the agave plant. image by Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Javier Lastras

Appearance

Tequila agave plants have thick, prickly, blue-green stalks that grow to be about two meters long. The plant takes approximately five years to mature; at that point, it grows a stalk with bright yellow flowers.

Environment

The tequila agave flourishes in Jalisco, a high-altitude region with sandy volcanic soil.

Uses

Within a mature tequila agave plant's stalk is a heart, called a "piña" (pineappple) which contains the sweet pulp from which tequila is fermented and distilled.

Significance

Tequila is the main ingredient of the margarita, a popular mixed drink that Jimmy Buffet helped boost to fame with his song "Margaritaville."

Diseases

Tequila agave is susceptible to various forms of rot, which are referred to as "TMA": "tristeza y muerte de agave," or "wilting and death of agave."

References

  • Tequila and Mezcal Facts
  • Tequila FAQ
Keywords: tequila, agave, succulent

About this Author

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based out of Astoria, Ore. She has been writing professionally for five years, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for an alternative weekly paper in Santa Cruz. She has a B.A. in fine arts from the University of California in Santa Cruz and a minor in English literature.