|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Furcraea (Ant. Frangois de Fourcroy, 1755-1809, chemist). Syn., Fourcroya, Fourcraea, Furcroya, Furcraea, Amaryllidaceae. Succulent desert plants from tropical America.
Some with spiny foliage like Agave, others with minutely toothed margins like Beschorncria. They occasionally bear immense loose panicles of greenish white fls., suggesting those of Yucca filamentosa, which are known to every plant-lover of the N. The perianth of Furcraea is whitish and wheel-shaped: in Agave greenish yellow, funnel-shaped. The filaments in Furcraea have a cushion-like swelling at the base, which is absent from Agave.
Furcraea is cultivated much in the same way as Agave, except that the furcreas are given more heat and water. F. gigantea has a very pretty variegated form, which makes a useful pot-plant.
As a rule, furcraeas bear fruit not more than once, and then die without producing suckers. However, they produce while in flower an immense number of bulbels, which may be used for propagation. It is impossible to say at what size or age the plants will bloom. Grown in pots, they may take a century. On the other hand, plants from bulbels have been known to flower at three years. Seeding is usually rare. CH
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Pests and diseases
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- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963