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Products > Agave 'Sawtooth'
Agave 'Sawtooth'

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (now Asparagaceae)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Synonyms: [A. franzosinii, Hort.]
Height: 6-8 feet
Width: 8-10 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Agave 'Sawtooth' - A large succulent that grows to 6 to 8 feet tall by 8 to 10 feet wide as a single large rosette of powdery bluish-gray large leaves that undulate and bend gracefully. Plant in full sun and give little to occasional irrigation. This plant is very similar to Agave franzosinii and in fact is often sold under this name by other California nurseries. It differs in not being as massive and having narrower leaves that are not as ghostly white as A. franzosinii. It also has much smaller more evenly spaced spines along the leaf margins and lacks the dark green markings typical of A. franzosinii, where the glaucous covering is rubbed off the emerging leaves from contact with older leaves. This beautiful plant has long been in cultivation and we have thought it as cold hardy as Agave americana but have been told by those growing this plant in Tucson that it is not as hardy as Agave franzosinii and will be damaged at temperatures around 15 F. We received this plant in the mid 1980s from John Greenlee and the original plant in our garden has flowered. Over the years we have asked numerous people what to call it and while many noted its similarities to Agave franzosinii, we lacked a name until seeing the plant in 2008 at B&B Cactus Farm labeled as Agave 'Sawtooth'. We inquired about this with owner Mark Sitter and it turned out that he had purchased it as Agave franzosinii but coined the name 'Sawtooth' when he realized it was different. We think this a great name for this Agave franzosinii imposter still a nice and useful plant that is smaller, but quite different from that big ghostly plant. At the Ruth Bancroft Garden similar plants have long been identified as Agave rasconensis, which is often listed as a synonym for Agave americana ssp. americana.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and 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 that we have observed it in. We also will incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate 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 that might aid others in growing Agave 'Sawtooth'.