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Products > Agave gypsophila
Agave gypsophila - Gypsum Century Plant
Image of Agave gypsophila
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (now Asparagaceae)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Synonyms: [A. pablocarrilloi]
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Agave gypsophila (Gypsum Century Plant) - This small mostly solitary rosette forming succulent grows to 2 to 3 feet tall and as wide with an open rosette of wavy gray colored leaves with small narrowly-spaced soft spines along the margins. Young emerging pale gray-green leaves clasp together in a tube-like manner before expanding out and turning more wavy and grayer in color. With age will produce a few suckers at the base of the plant. When the infrequent flowering occurs, the orange-yellow flowers are born on 6 to 8 foot tall panicle. Plant in full coastal sun to light shade in a well-drained soil. Protect from frost - this Agave is noted to be severely damaged at temperatures below 25F. Because of its frost sensitivity and preference to a shady location, we grow this plant in a light shade and recommend placement in a similar situation or in morning sun. A curious and attractive plant that is quite a different looking than most other Agave and is a good garden specimen or container plant. The plant in cultivation as Agave gypsophila was so named as it is found naturally growing on gypsum hillsides and also on calcareous soils in the Mexican States of Colim, Jalisco, Michoacan and Guerrero however in 2013 in an article titled "Four New Species of Agave (Agavaceae) of the Marmoratae Group" in Systematic Botany (2013), 38(2): pp. 320331, Agave gypsophila was split into 5 separate closely related species (called the Agave gypsophila complex) and the plant in cultivation is now considered to be a selection of the newly described species, Agave pablocarrilloi, which was named after Pablo Carrillo-Reyes, a Mexican botanist and explorer. Other newly named species in this complex are Agave abisaii, Agave andreae, and Agave kristenii. The key differences between Agave pablocarrilloi and Agave gypsophila are that the former produces basal suckers, has rougher narrower leaves that are flat in the lower half and has orange-yellow colored flowers while true Agave gypsophila forms a solitary rosette of slightly wider leaves and has yellow flowers. Agave pablocarrilloi is locally abundant within a narrow ranged near the towns of Coquimitlan, Ixtlahuacan, and Colima in the Mexican state of Colima. Since most people know this plant under its older name, Agave gypsophila, we continue to list it this way until such time as the name Agave pablocarrilloi gets better known.  This information about Agave gypsophila displayed is based on research conducted in our library and from reliable online resources. We will also note observations that we have made about it as it grows in the gardens in our nursery and those elsewhere, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments 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 it.