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Products > Agave 'Sharkskin Shoes'
Agave 'Sharkskin Shoes' - Northern Sharkskin Agave

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (now Asparagaceae)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Green
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Synonyms: [A. 'Ruth Bancroft', Hort., 'Sharkskin Shoes']
Parentage: (A. asperrima x A. ferdinandi-regis)
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Agave 'Sharkskin' (Sharkskin Agave) - This structural succulent plant grows to 3 feet tall with evenly-spaced thick triangular dark gray-green leaves that have smooth margins and a prominent sturdy terminal spine. Plant suckers to produce colonies of this beautiful plant. Plant in full sun. Little irrigation required. The first Shark Skin Agave we grew came from the Huntington Botanic Garden but this one came from the Ruth Bancropft Garden and it is a bit more upright. They are both originally from a population of a naturally occurring hybrids of the ferdinandi-regis form of Agave victoriae-reginae (these two plants, once considered separate species have more recently been synonymized) crossed with a subspecies of Agave scabra, a plant that is now considered to be a subspecies of Agave asperrima. The common name Shark Skin was applied due to this plant's texture and color - some use this common name as a cultivar name (which is less of a mouthful than Agave x ferdinandi-regis x scabra). More about this plant's origins can be found on our Agave Sharkskin Page. Another name that is sometimes applied to this plant is Agave 'Ruth Bancroft'. Although some of the plants in cultivation may have been distributed by this very fine botanic garden in Walnut Creek, CA, this name is confusing and not supported by Ruth Bancroft Garden Plant Curator Brian Kemble. Plants from the Ruth Bancroft Garden were supplied to a tissue culture lab by Yucca Do nursery and to keep them separate from the plants from the Huntington Botanic Garden, which were tissue cultured originally by Rancho Tissue Technologies, they are now being called called 'Sharkskin Shoes'. We have grown plants originating from both of these gardens side by side and though quite similar we have noticed that 'Sharskin Shoes' is more upright and seems to be less affected by the mealybug that plagues 'Sharkskin'.  Information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it. We also will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips would aid others in growing Agave 'Sharkskin Shoes'.