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Scientific Name
Synonyms
Common Names
Family
Origin
Naturalised Distribution
Notes
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Variegated false agave
Furcraea selloa

Scientific Name

Furcraea selloa K. Koch

Synonyms

Furcraea selloa K. Koch 'Marginata'
Furcraea selloa K. Koch. var. marginata Trel.

Common Names

false agave, hemp, maguey, sword lily, variegated false agave, wild sisal

Family

Agavaceae

Origin

Native to Mexico, Central America and South America.

Naturalised Distribution

Occasionally naturalised in eastern Australia (i.e. in coastal south-eastern and central Queensland) and in south-western Western Australia.

Naturalised overseas in south-eastern USA (i.e. Florida).

Notes

Variegated false agave (Furcraea selloa) is regarded as an environmental weed in south-eastern Queensland and as a potential weed or "sleeper weed " in other parts of Australia. This garden escape is very similar to Mauritius hemp (Furcraea foetida), and causes the same problems in natural environments (i.e. it invades coastal sites and cliffs, gullies, hillsides, urban bushland and open woodlands where it crowds out native species). However, it is currently less widespread and common in natural areas in Australia.

Note: Cultivated and naturalised specimens in Australia have variegated leaves. This plant is simply called Furcraea selloa by state herbaria, however it often goes by the names Furcraea selloa var. marginata or Furcraea selloa 'Marginata' in the horticultural industry.



habit (Photo: Sheldon Navie)


large variegated leaves with prickly margins (Photo: Sheldon Navie)


close-up of variegated leaves showing curved prickles (Photo: Sheldon Navie)


drooping flowers (Photo: Sheldon Navie)


old flower cluster with masses of 'bulbils' (Photo: Sheldon Navie)


'bulbils' on old flowering stems (Photo: Sheldon Navie)


close-up of bulbil (Photo: Sheldon Navie)


young plants (Photo: Sheldon Navie)