Agave is a genus containing around 269 succulent perennials from the Asparagaceae family. They are well adapted to dry desert and mountainous regions. Flowering can take up to 10 years for smaller species (30cm) and between 20-40 years for taller species (5m). These plants are termed monocarpic as they tend to flower once, then die. Flower spikes form from the centre, bearing funnel-shaped, brightly coloured flowers in clusters on mostly leafless stems. Getting the conditions right for flowering when grown as a houseplant can be tricky, and rosettes only flower once before dying. Fleshy foliage is arranged in rosettes, leaves are distinctly rigid, sword-shaped and toothed on the edges, with sharp spikes which enlarge as the plant grows.