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Products > Agave mapisaga var. lisa
Agave mapisaga var. lisa
Image of Agave mapisaga var. lisa
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (now Asparagaceae)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Height: 6-8 feet
Width: 6-12 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Agave mapisaga var. lisa - A very large agave to 6 1/2 to 8 feet tall by over 9 feet wide with thick gray-green 6 to 9 foot long leaves that arch upwards held in an open sprawling rosette with few offsets. The rough to the touch leaves have few teeth along the margins and a large dark brown terminal spine. Flowers on a massive spike to 26 feet tall holding lateral peduncles of yellow flowers. Because it offsets little and the flowers have not produced viable seed or bulbils, this plant is rarely seen in gardens. Plant in a large open space in full sun and give occasional to little irrigation. Has proven hardy to around 20 F. As Howard Scott Gentry says in his Agaves of Continental North America "This gigantic succulent is unexceeded in size by any other agave". Our plants from the Huntington Botanic Gardens International Succulent Introductions as ISI 2011-15 that originally came from rooted offsets from tissue-culture propagation of the Huntington Botanic Gardens Agave mapisaga var. lisa (HBG 3633) . This plant was originally received by William Hertrich, long time superintendent of the Huntington Botanic Garden, in 1933 as a seedling from Fernando Schmoll of Queretaro, Mexico. The plant was simply listed as "maguey lisa" without other specific information. Gentry was never able to locate the plant in habitat in Mexico and concluded that it "appears to represent a clonal variety from some obscure locality" and so many consider it as a natural clone of Agave mapisaga var mapisaga. It is speculated that this large form was domesticated for its massive "cabeza" (head) which can be roasted and the pulp eaten or fermented for the alcoholic beverage called Pulque. Interestingly Fernando Schmoll, the Huntington's source of this plant, was a painter who with his wife, biologist Carolina Wagner, founded their nursery Quinta Fernando Schmoll (or just La Quinta) in 1920 to study and disseminate knowledge of cacti and succulents and the nursery remains in operation today. 

This information about Agave mapisaga var. lisa displayed on this web page is based on research we have conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations we have made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens visited, as well how our crops have performed in containers in the nursery field. Where appropriate, we will also incorporate comments that 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 this plant.