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Products > Agave macroacantha
Agave macroacantha - Black-spined Agave

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Agave macroacantha
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (now Asparagaceae)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Green
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Synonyms: [A. flavescens ssp. macroacantha]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 2-4 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Agave macroacantha (Black-spined Agave) - This very distinctive small to medium-sized Agave is native to barren rocky ground in the Mexican state of Oaxaca and near Tehuacan in Puebla. It forms dense clumps to nearly 2 feet tall by 5 feet wide composed of 10 to 16 inch wide rosettes. The rosettes have narrow blue-gray leaves that are evenly spaced and radiate straight out from the center of the plant. The leaves have very straight margins with contrasting small dark brown teeth and an even darker 1 inch long terminal spine. When this plant begins to flower the center leaves take on an attractive reddish hue where the dark red inflorescence begins to emerge, though it has been reported that the age of the plant needs to be 15 years or better to flower. Mary and Gary Irish report in "Agaves, Yuccas and Related Plants" that it forms purple-tinged green flowers with a fuzzy interior and are borne on slender stalks to 6 1/2 feet tall that have 10 to 14 side branches". Plant in well-drained soil in full sun (Light shade or eastern exposure in hot low desert areas). Little irrigation is necessary in coastal gardens but should be given occasionally in warmer inland situations. This plant has proven hardy in a garden in one of the coldest locations in Santa Barbara and has not been bothered by short duration temperatures as low as 20 F, though it is listed by most as hardy only to 25 F. This is a really attractive species but we have decided to concentrate on a form that is a very nice silvery-gray that came from the yard of one of our own employees. We call this plant Agave macroacantha 'Pablo's Choice'

This information about Agave macroacantha 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.