Agave sisalana

 
agave, century plant, hemp plant, sisal, sisal agave, sisal hemp • Afrikaans: garingboom • Chinese: 剑麻 jian ma • Fijian: ndali • French: agave sisal • German: sisalagave • Hawaiian: malina • I-Kiribati: te rob', te robu • Italian: canapa di sisal • Portuguese: sisal • Spanish: sisal;
  

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https://08511630493324166816.googlegroups.com/attach/a7b38d740abfdc41/5._Flowers_-_Agave_americana_L..JPG?part=0.5&view=1&vt=ANaJVrFu19qCaXvyf66qXKPFJp69hYep40bljIvTkAmirtfjXnLxi2B7fTn7ty5z0FDVjuhy-GdwB5hi8EVmccq-BfObl7l7SlP-idrhnW8YeI8gq21kHnI
 
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https://08511630493324166816.googlegroups.com/attach/a7b38d740abfdc41/1._Habit_-_Agave_americana_L..JPG?part=0.1&view=1&vt=ANaJVrEsUweTkrpwm2Kd0kRFdAeLGS9eW7b75bR_WKLlojdIX6ayky4ffxwPTPFkGUXkgOxUu45PZaAm5K4zyVBuvJTKJQYPBv7AEErbnasq-31KrndQ3BU
Agave americana L. from Barapani (Shillong): I think attached images may be Agave americana L.
Name : . Century Plant
Genus & species : Agave americana L.
Family : Agavaceae
Time of collection : 19/10/2012
Location : Barapani ICAR Campus (Meghalaya)
Pl. check prickles on the margins of the leaves. Lack of these will mean, it's Agave sisalana Perrine as per link


Article on Ramkand from Times of India Pune edition. 11May2011: The link may not work so I have copied the contents of an article related to one interesting plant we had discussed earlier. I think .. has more knowledge on this.
http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Client.asp?Daily=TOIPU&showST=... http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=...  
Green group conducts DNA barcoding of Ramkand Kalyani Sardesai TNN
Pune: Sahyadri Genes, a Kolhapur-based environmentalcum-research group, and the department of botany, Shivaji University, have carried out DNA barcoding of the Ramkand plant, which, according to popular legend, was consumed by Lord Rama while in exile.
    The study, which establishes that the plant is a monocot and not a tuber, has been published in the recent issue of ‘Current Science’.
    Speaking to TOI, Mansingraj Nimbalkar, president, Sahyadri Genes, said, “For several years, the exact identity of Ramkand has remained a mystery for both plant researchers and students. Though the tuber is being sold for several years, especially at places of pilgrimage, its source is one of the best kept secrets by vendors. The name and information provided by vendors give an impression that the tuber was eaten by Lord Rama during his days of exile. Previous efforts to identify the plant have proved unsuccessful. The only material available for study are the thin slices sold by vendors.” 
    During the study, the team initially found it difficult to establish its identity as a monocot. “Though the anatomical study showed a cell structure typical to the monocot, it only confused us further. This is because, monocots have adventitious roots and not a tap root.”
    The DNA was extracted from the slices obtained from a vendor at Jyotiba hill temple at Wadi Ratnagiri in Kolhapur district. The slices were approximately 4.5 inches in size and two to three mm in thickness.
    The sequence was used to find similarities with the other submitted sequences. The search showed that the sequence was 89 per cent similar to the Agave sisalana — a monocot.
    “To confirm this further, we checked more plants of the Agave genus. The leaves enclosing the rosette and juvenile inflorescence (soft middle portion of the plant) were removed, which exposed the core of the rosette. The core was soft and similar in dimension to that of the Ramkand plant,” said G B Dikshit, professor, department of botany, Shivaji University.
    Taxonomist S R Yadav explained the significance of the DNA barcoding. “It is a major step forward as the plant has proved to be difficult to place. Over the last 25 years, I have approached leading botanists in the country to help me identify the Ramkand, but they could not,” he said.
    Moreover, the study dispels the myth about the plant being a tuber. “The origin of the plant is being carefully concealed by vendors, but Ramkand, which is sold to devotees in the name of Lord Rama, is actually not
recommended for human consumption. In fact, it can prove to be poisonous,” he said.
    “One variety of the Agave genus is used to make a syrup for diabetic patients, but, by and large, the species are not meant to be eaten. Since it is sold in thin slices and people consume it in small quantities, it may not have had any noticeable after-effects. But it is important that people know the facts,” Yadav said.
The Ramkand plant

We have already discussed about this plant (in Feb'10), and its id is also established few years back by Dr.Narasimhan. Please check this link: https://groups.google.com/group/indiantreepix/browse_thread/thread/92...
I am glad that it has now been published with a scientific evidence.
Just saw this article in Current Science. (pdf file attached)
The interesting but If you are using PCR in your experiment then you should always mention the "primers" used. The paper seriously lack the information. Next with partial amplification of a gene you cant be sure that its from A sisalana !!
As you said, they could have cited the reference for the primers. But matK is a quite conservered region and some papers even suggest it to be a suitable region for DNA barcoding like coxI for animals. Manytimes a partial
matK region is enough for phylogeny. I am sure, matK would be accurate upto the genus level, but after getting the clue we can look for morphological similarity between the Agave sisalana stem and Ramkhand for further
clarification.
 
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Need id assistance of JNU campus plant 080415SP1/2 : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2)
I need id assistance of following two images of Agave sp?
Date of Collection: 08.04.2015
Locality: JNU New Campus forest
Agave species in eFloraofindia (with details/ keys from published papers/ regional floras/ FRLHT/ FOI/ Biotik/ efloras/ books etc., where ever available on net)
It seems to be Agave americana (ash coloured leaves)
Agave species. Could be A. sisalana used for manufacture of fibres.
I agree with Agave sisalana Perrine - leaves used to manufacture fibre, alcohol produced from the stem/ rootstock
 
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agave/ramkand : 5 posts by 4 authors. 2 images.
what is special in the image, it is so small; I can't comprehend please 

Some Zigsaw ?
yes my question same as ... what is this
incomplete pictures? and botanical name etc????? 

Is this really Maerua oblongifolia ? : 12 posts by 4 authors.
there is a certain large root which gets sold sometimes in Indian streets which goes under the name `bhoo chakra (or sakre) gadde ' in Kannada and Telugu and most websites identify it as root of Maerua oblongifolia (of Capparaceae family). For images and description of this root please see:
Even Elfora website gives the same info:
Is this true? Does this arid region plant grow to have such large roots? I contacted some experts, but received conflicting opinion. Some like Prof. Pullaiah, whose book is quoted in Eflora website think that this is root is of ipomoea mauritiana with common name `giant potato'. See: 
Can somebody please confirm as to what is the correct identification of this root.

I think it's Agave root  

Thank you.  I suppose this is only a guess. Some of these roots are 4-5 feet long. I have never seen any Agave with that kind of thick and long root/stem

In A.P also the tuberous root of Maerua oblongifolia is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a tonic. But I didn't see such big tubers. In A.P also it is called Bhuchakra gadda only.

Yes this is really Maerua oblongifolia tuber; I am also eating last two months back in Nallamala forest (Buggavagu base camp area). This tuber more like Wild boars. 

Yes it is agave root only, it will be burnt in the fire, cleaned, usually sugar or saccharine solution is added to the fibrous starchy tuber in order to get sweet taste. Even in Chennai market it is being sold.

thank you for the information. If this root/stem is Agave and not Maerua oblongifolia  can one identify as to which species of Agave it is?
Further, shouldn't one be making corrections in Eflora website, Wikipedia etc., where it is identified as Maerua oblongifolia.

The best option to confirm the species is to contact the the vendor (seller) and find out the place where from he collected,  locate the plant and then identify.

I am not saying by my own it is observed by reading DNA fingerprint paper published by dept. of botany  Shivaji University Kolhapur.
The root of Agave known  as 'Ramkand'

Sir, Thanks. I think you are referring to the paper at the link provided. http://www.currentscience.ac.in/Volumes/100/09/1277.pdf

thanks. The paper  http://www.currentscience.ac.in/Volumes/100/09/1277.pdf, more or less settles the issue that this root is not Maerua oblongifolia but an agave. Search for 'rama kandmool' gives several images/videos of the root/stem. It would be good to video record the processing of agave, but perhaps it is difficult to persuade these vendors to oblige. 


Sagar Upvan, Mumbai, MH :: Agave for ID :: ARK2019-124 : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (1)
This was another Agave in Sagar Upvan, Mumbai clicked in Feb 2013.
It looks different from the one posted earlier today.
Request to ID if possible.
This should also be Agave sisalana Perrine as I do not find any prickles on leaf margins. 


Sagar Upvan, Mumbai, MH :: Agave for ID :: ARK2019-123 : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (1)
I saw this Agave in the Sagar Upvan, Mumbai in Feb 2013.
Keys at Agave page in efi indicate A. sisalana or A. angustifolia.
Request to ID if possible.

Yes, appears to be Agave sisalana Perrine as per keys. 



References:  
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