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Products > Agave murpheyi 'Engard'
Agave murpheyi 'Engard' - Variegated Hohokam Agave

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Agave murpheyi 'Engard'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (now Asparagaceae)
Origin: Southwest (U.S.) (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Yellow/Chartreuse Foliage: Yes
Variegated Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Green
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 10-15 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Agave murpheyi 'Engard' - A medium sized agave that forms rosettes to 2 to 3 feet tall by 3 feet across with straight upright medium light green 2 foot long leaves that are yellow banded with small teeth widely spaced along the margin - the variegation on the leaf is often just strong yellow margins but occasionally there are multiple yellow stripes in the middle of the leaf and sometimes the leaf seems more yellow than green. The green-tinged purple flowers on this species, held on a compact branching spike within the top third of its 10 to 12 foot overall height, are accompanied by many bulbils in the flower axils. Plant in full sun in any soil so long as it is well drained and irrigate occasionally to very little. Hardy to at least 10 F though flowering stems present in winter are more tender. In his Agave bible Agaves of Continental North America" Howard Scott Gentry wrote that "Agave murpheyi is indigenous to what Shreve called "the arborescent desert," ranging from the lower slopes of the Tonto Rim chaparral to southwestern Arizona and adjacent Sonora, at elevations of 1,500 to 3,000 feet (460 to 930 m) on mountainous slopes, or bajadas. Annual rainfall ranges from 200 to 450 mm (8-18 inches). A. murpheyi has never been observed in extensive or dense populations. Some of the clones appear to have been associated with old Indian living sites. The propagules are easily transported and transplanted." It has a long history of cultivation by indigenous Americans; the carbohydrate-rich crown or "cabeza" was roasted and eaten and its fiber was used for fiber for weaving and sewing. For this reason the species is often associated with archeological sites and the common name, Hohokam Agave, is often used for this plant in reference to the prehistoric people that inhabited southern Arizona. This variegated form was distributed by the Huntington Botanic Garden in 2004 through the International Succulent Introduction program as ISI 2004-7. Their plant (HBG 34167) was from bulbils originally collected in 1974 by Rodney Engard, the former director of the Desert Botanic Garden and they named the cultivar in his honor as its discoverer.  The information about Agave murpheyi 'Engard' displayed on this page is based on research conducted in our library and from reliable online resources. We also relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we visit, 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.