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As if you had any doubts of whether Mexico had interesting plants, the Agave family (Agavaceae) or subfamily (Agavoideae depending on who you believe) should convince you. It is another group of plants with its major diversity centered in Mexico. Adapted for many extreme habitats they often live where few other plants would even try!


Xeric adapted, they often can be found growing in very hot and dry places. Because of their ability to thrive in such inhospitable places they have several economically important uses. Several species have been used for thousands of years to produce ixtle (ixt-LAY), a fiber used for rope, weaving, as well as to make sandals. The more common and economic use for them now is the production of mezcals (liquors that include the muy famosa tequila). 

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