San Marcos GrowersSan Marcos Growers
New User?
Wholesale Login
Enter Password
Home Products Purchase Gardens About Us Resources Contact Us
 Web Site Search
Plant Database
Search by Plant Name
  General Plant Info
Search for any word
  Advanced Search >>
Search by size, origins,
color, cultural needs, etc.
Site Map
Retail Locator
Plant Listings

PLANT TYPE
PLANT GEOGRAPHY
PLANT INDEX
ALL PLANT LIST
PLANT IMAGE INDEX
PLANT INTROS
SPECIALTY CROPS
NEW  2014 PLANTS
PRIME LIST>
  for OCTOBER


 Weather Station

 
Products > Agave attenuata
 
Agave attenuata - Fox Tail Agave
  

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (Agaves)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow Green
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Synonyms: [A. cernua, A. glaucescens, Agave pruinosa]
Height: 4-5 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Seaside: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Agave attenuata (Fox Tail Agave) - This Agave presents to the gardener none of the dangers that its spine-covered relatives do. Massing up to 4 to 5 feet tall by about twice as wide, individual rosettes may reach 4 feet wide atop a stout curving smooth gray stem that rise up to 4 feet tall. The wide pale green pliable leaves emerge from a tight central spear to arch gracefully back, looking a bit like large open green flower. Mature plants send up a 5 to 10 foot vertical flower stalk that reflexes back towards the ground before arching upward again, giving this plant the common name, the Fox-tail agave – it is also called Lion's Tail Agave and Swan's Neck Agave. The flowers are a pale greenish yellow and are followed by seed pods and many new "plantlets" (or bulbils). Plant in full coastal sun to shade in moist or dry soils (looks best with an occasional watering). Tolerates seaside conditions but it will usually be damaged in temperatures much below 28° F. We had plants survive the 1990 temperatures of 18° F but they were severely disfigured. It was reported in Gary and Mary Irish's "Agave, Yuccas and Related Plants" that the Desert Botanic Garden lost plants from temperatures at 25 °F but plants growing here in gardens in the Goleta valley just west of Santa Barbara, were damaged but survived the 3 nights in a row we had at 25° F in January 2007 . Protect from snails which can also disfigure the plant. This plant is a beautiful soft green color, which works well with other succulents or even tropical plant material. This plant is native to the plateau of central Mexico in the states of Jalisco, México and Michoacán where it grows on rocky outcrops in pine forests from 6000-8000 feet in elevation. The original specimens were sent to Kew by the explorer Galeotti in 1834, from an unspecified location in central Mexico. More recent study has reported it from Jalisco east to Mexico, in small colonies at elevations of 1,900 to 2,500 meters (6,200 to 8,200 ft), but there have been few sightings, suggesting this agave is rare in the wild. The plant was originally described by Prince Joseph Salm-Reifferscheid-Dyck or Salm-Dyck (1773-1861) who described the plant in his Hortus Dyckensis ou Catalogue des Plantes cutiées dans les jardins de Dyck (1834). The plant was reportedly received by Kew that same year from an unspecified location in central Mexico, having been collected by the French-Belgian botanist Henri Guillaume Galeotti (1814 – 1858). The specific epithet comes from the Latin word 'attenuo' meaning "weaken", "diminish" or "shrink" and in botanical usage has come to refer to the gradual reduction of the leaf as it tapers to a slender point. We grow a form of this species originally collected by Myron Kimnack and Fred Boutin in 1970 and that was called 'Nova' by the Huntington Botanic Gardens – it has shorter broader leaves that are a blue gray and erect flower stalks. We also grow another Agave in this Amolae group, the very similar Agave pedunculifera which has minute teeth along the leaf margins – this plant was recently (2006) reclassified by Bernd Ullrich as Agave attenuata as subspecies dentata.  This description is based on our research and the observations we have made of this plant as it grows in containers at our nursery, in our own garden and in other gardens. We also appreciate receiving feedback of any kind from those who have additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Agave attenuata.
 
  [MORE INFO]