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Products > Agave bracteosa
Agave bracteosa - Candelabrum Agave

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Agave bracteosa
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (now Asparagaceae)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Height: 2-4 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 10-15° F
Agave bracteosa (Candelabrum Agave) - Slow growing succulent with 1 foot tall by 18" wide rosettes of mostly unarmed pale green leaves - what teeth it has are mostly tiny serrated ones that do not bite! The leaves, which usually number 20 or fewer emerge vertically in the center and arch gracefully back towards the center of the plant. It eventually suckers to gradually form a dense stand. When mature a 3- to 5-foot-tall spike rises straight up and bearing a dense terminal cluster of white flowers, distinctive from all other Agave. After flowering the main rosette slowly dies but younger suckers perpetuate the plant.

Plant in full sun to light shade in well-drained soil. Fairly drought tolerant in coastal gardens although performs best with occasional irrigation and requires it in hotter inland sites. Hardy to 10 F. It has a good tolerance to both heat and cold but not overly wet soils.

Agave bracteosa comes from the Coahuila Desert of the o the Sierra Madre Oriental of Mexico, in the states of Tamaulipas, Coahuila and Nuevo León where it grows on shaded or semi-shade limestone cliffs between 3,000 and 5,500 feet. The name for the genus is one given by Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus. It comes from the Greek word 'agaue' (agauos or agavos) meaning "noble" or "splendid" and originates from Greek mythology. Agaue was the daughter of Cadmus, the king and founder of the city of Thebes, and of the goddess Harmonia. The name was first used by Linnaeus in 1753 when he described Agave americana. The specific epithet is from the Latin 'bractea' meaning "bract" in reference to the persistent bracts of the flowers. It is also commonly known as Spider Agave or Squid Agave.

We grew this fun agave from 2001 until 2017. Our original plants grown from seed purchased from Aztekakti Cacti and Succulent Seed of El Paso, Texas. It was from the original seed crops that we selected the hybrid plant we named Agave 'Mateo', which we introduced in 2009. 

This information about Agave bracteosa displayed on this web page is based on research we have conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations we have made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens visited, as well how our crops have performed in containers in the nursery field. Where appropriate, we will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing this plant.