Sonoran Native Virtual Tour - PARRY'S AGAVE

Agave parryi      |      Asparagaceae     |      Parry's agave



Desert Ecology:


Pollinated by insects and hummingbirds and seeds are dispersed by wind.




This plant was a staple of the Native American diet. The leaves and hearts and stalks were roasted, sunbaked and eaten and the long central stalks can be boiled, dried, or eaten raw. Heads and/or stalks were steamed, mashed and allowed to ferment, then distilled into mescal. The juice was drunk fresh as aguamiel (honey-water), or fermented into pulque. Some of the many uses include: alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, syrup, fiber, cordage, clothing, sandals, nets, blankets, lances, fire hearths, musical instruments, hedgerows, soap, medicine, and ceremonial purposes. Its colorful juice was used as a multipurpose paint and some native women used it as rouge.