"Agave" Top 5 Page for this destination Tonto National Monument Favorite Tip by Stephen-KarenConn
Tonto National Monument General: 15 reviews and 21 photos
Favorite thing: Agave (Agave chrysantha)
Not only was this plant native to the area, but the Salado cultivated it in their fields. Slow growing and living at higher elevations on dry, rocky slopes, not enough agave grew without cultivation to supply Salado needs. The whole plant was used. Split flower stalks were used as slats for roofing and as hearth boards for fire making. A leaf's outside skin and inside pulp were eliminated to reveal the fibers within. The sharp point at the leaf end became the needle for the attached fiber thread. Roasted as a whole, the base of the leaf rosette was eaten like an artichoke. The cooked leaf pulp was shaped into cakes. Providing food, fiber, rope, medicine and drinks, the agave was one of the more important plants available to the Salado.