San Marcos Growers LogoSan Marcos Growers
New User
Wholesale Login
Enter Password
Home Products Purchase Gardens About Us Resources Contact Us
Nursery Closure
Search Utilities
Plant Database
Search Plant Name
Detail Search Avanced Search Go Button
Search by size, origins,
details, cultural needs
Website Search Search Website GO button
Search for any word
Site Map
Retail Locator
Plant Listings


  for MAY

Natives at San Marcos Growers
Succulents at San Marcos Growers
 Weather Station

Products > Agave bovicornuta 'Holstein'
Agave bovicornuta 'Holstein' - Variegated Cow Horn Agave
Image of Agave bovicornuta 'Holstein'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (now Asparagaceae)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Yellow/Chartreuse Foliage: Yes
Variegated Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow Green
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: 3-5 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Agave bovicornuta 'Holstein' (Cow Horn Agave) - This is a boldly variegated selection of the already quite attractive Cow Horn Agave, Agave bovicornuta. The species is a medium-sized solitary plant to 2 to 3 feet tall by 4 to 5 feet wide with an open rosette of 24 to 30 inch long by 5 to 6 inches wide yellow green to medium green leaves that are widest in the middle. The leaf blades have large reddish dark-brown teeth on large teats, some recurving back towards the base and others towards the leaf tip, which has a short stout terminal spine. The broad leaf surfaces are further decorated by impressions (crenulated bud imprints) made by the margins of other leaves as they emerge from the center of growth and the new leaves have an attractive satiny finish. This selection adds even more to the beauty of this plant by having a broad creamy yellow band in the middle of the leaf.

Like the species this plant has taken full sun along the coast but will likely require light shade inland, especially in hot interior valleys and deserts. Plant in a well-drained soil and irrigate infrequently or more occasionally for more rapid growth. It is noted as hardy to around 20 F by some references (some report as low as 15 F) but Mary and Gary Irish state in Agaves, Yuccas and Related Plants noted that Agave bovicornuta "should be protected anytime the temperature goes below 25 F". We concur with this as we saw light damage on the leaf margins and yellowing on Agave bovicornuta in a Santa Barbara garden when temperatures dipped below 25 F in January 2007. This is a great plant for planting in the garden or in containers.

Agave bovicornuta 'Holstein' was a sport of seed grown Agave bovicornuta found at San Marcos Growers by field supervisor Arturo Garcia. San Marcos Growers named the plant 'Holstein' as a play on the specific epithet "bovicornuta" which is from the Latin words 'bovis' meaning "cow" and 'cornutus' meaning "horned" in reference to the leaf margin of this plant, coupled with the black and white coloration of the Holstein cow (i.e. it is a variegated cow). The cultivar name 'Holstein' with images of the plant was first presented by Randy Baldwin at the International Plant Propagators Western Conference meeting in San Diego on October 1, 2009 for his talk "Agave Propagation: Seeds, tissue culture & cuttings" and the talk presenting this plant was repeated at Agave Summit III on October 11, 2009. The nursery continued to build stock on it and first released it for sales in 2017. For more information on this species see our listing for Agave bovicornuta

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