Octopus Century Plant, Amole
This spectacular, large, cliff-dwelling Agave from central western Mexico provides a focal point for any garden. Its soft, deeply keeled, light green to pale blue, ascending leaves are curved at the base and strongly recurved towards their delicately drawn-out tip, giving the plant a bold and unique, somewhat spidery appearance. When in flower, it produces a huge, unbranched spike that sports thousands of bright yellow flowers, followed by numerous bulbils that can be used for propagation. Seed however is rarely set, especially in cultivation. It has been popular in gardens on the Mediterranean for at least a century and will adapt to cultivation anywhere outside the humid tropics where no severe freezes are experienced. A. vilmoriniana has no spines or thorns and thus is one of the few Agave that can be planted anywhere, without ever becoming a danger to beast or man alike. In addition, it is easy and fast growing, needs hardly any maintenance and adapts perfectly to being grown in containers. Its leaves contain saponin, a soap substitute, and other substances that are believed to have medicinal properties.