Blue Agave Agave Tequilana




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Description:The blue agave plant has blue or gray leaves that grow to be roughly three feet. On the edge of the leaves are thick prickles. After five years the plant grows a flower spike which grows straight up to an average height of fifteen feet. The plants most useful part being its heart. Its heart is also called a pineapple because of its close appearance. The heart contains a sweet pulp, which when extracted, is used in the production of tequila.




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GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION:
The Agave tequilana is native to Jalisco, Mexico where the high altitude(5,000+ ft) and sandy soil allows the plant to thrive.












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Family: The Agave tequilana is part of the Agavoideae subfamily, which consists of 640 species. The plants, for the most part are best suited in warm subtropical climates.

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Classification:

Kingdom Plantae – Plants

Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants

Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants

Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants

Class Liliopsida – Monocotyledons

Subclass Liliidae

Order Liliales

Family Agavaceae – Century-plant family

Genus Agave L. – agave

Species Agave tequilana F.A.C Weber – tequila agave







Uses: The majority of Agave tequilanas grown today are used for their sap which is turned to liquor. The sap which is located in the plants heart must be extracted after at least twelve years. Once extracted it is sent off to be fermented and distilled. Upon completion the Agave’s sap is turned into the alcohol we know as tequila. The sap can also be used to make Mezcal and Pulque which are a more traditional Mexican beverages.

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Dangerous: Blue agave, which produces tequila, makes it a contributor to Alcohol related deaths which is the third leading cause of preventable death in America. Roughly 75,000 people die from alcohol related diseases and accidents annually.






Works Cited

"Alcohol Linked to 75,000 U.S. Deaths a Year." Msnbc.msn.com. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6089353/ns/health-addictions/t/alcohol-linked-us-deaths-year/#.UL1BPpPjlK4>.
"Agave Tequilana." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Feb. 2012. Web. 03 Dec. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agave_tequilana>."Welcome to the PLANTS Database | USDA PLANTS." Welcome to the PLANTS Database | USDA PLANTS. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2012. <http://plants.usda.gov/>.Wishhart, Michelle. "About the Tequila Agave Plant." EHow. Demand Media, 24 Oct. 2009. Web. 03 Dec. 2012. <http://www.ehow.com/facts_5569589_tequila-agave-plant.html>.Images
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