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 JULY

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

Products > Agave sobria ssp. frailensis
Agave sobria ssp. frailensis - Gulf Agave
Image of Agave sobria ssp. frailensis
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (now Asparagaceae)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
California Native (Plant List): Yes
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): No Irrigation required
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Agave sobria ssp. frailensis (Gulf Agave) - An attractive small clustering agave with open urn shaped rosettes to just over a foot tall holding relatively few, thick, arching, glaucous 8 to 14 inch long gray leaves that have prominent bud imprints, strongly mammillate margins and a slightly contorted terminal spine. In flower it is reported to have slender 10 to 12 foot tall spike with short lateral branches bearing yellow flowers. Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil and irrigated infrequently to occasionally - this is a very interesting looking plant for a container or in the garden and quite tolerant of dry conditions in Southern California. The locality where the type specimen was collected by Howard Scott Gentry and his wife Marie Ann Cech in 1951 was about 6 km north of Punta Frailes in Baja California Sur but it is reported to also occur at a few locations between Cabo Frailes and Punta los Mangles where it is found growing on small granite hillsides. This subspecies is noted to have shorter and narrower leaves than Agave sobria ssp. roseana that is found around La Paz and on islands in the Gulf of California and while the ratio of leaf length to width is greater than typical and falls into the range described for the subspecies sobria, the collection location at Punta Frailes made by Burl Mostul of Rare Plant Research nursery in Oregon City, Oregon, has led Huntington Botanical Gardens staff to conclude that this plant is indeed the subspecies frailensis. It is accessioned at the Huntington Botanical Gardens as Agave sobria ssp. frailensis HBG#100266 and micropropagated (AKA tissue cultured) plants of it were introduced in 2017 through their International Succulent Introduction program as ISI 2017-8. This plant similar to those described by Robert Web and Greg Starr in their article "Gentry Revisited: The Agaves of Baja California, Mexico" in Haseltonia Volume 20 in 2015. Our first plant of what we believe is this same subspecies came to us from Kent Houser (the Agavemonger) but we were later able to acquire plants of the ISI release directly from the Huntington Botanic Gardens. 

This information about Agave sobria ssp. frailensis 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.