Agave are among the world’s oldest and most diverse genera of plants. Often mistaken for cacti, to which they are not related; and aloe, to which they are only distantly related, the 200+ species of agave are succulents in the Asparagaceae family of plants, closer relatives to asparagus and artichokes. They are extremely hearty plants, able to survive in a range of climates, and grow extremely slowly, taking between 5-55 years to reach maturity, while yielding as little as 7 liters of finished mezcal per ton of cooked plants.