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Products > Furcraea quicheensis
 
Furcraea quicheensis - Mecate Giant Agave
   
Image of Furcraea quicheensis
 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (now Asparagaceae)
Origin: Guatemala (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Green
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Height: 6-10 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25° F
Furcraea quicheensis (Mecate Giant Agave) - A rosette forming succulent with 3 to 4 foot long pliable lanceolate pale blue-green leaves that form 5 to 6 foot wide rosettes that top sturdy 3 to 6 foot tall trunks. These trunks are mostly solitary but with age can branch near the base, an unusual feature for plants in this genus. The rigid-looking yet flexible 3 to 4 foot long bluish-green leaves have a rough texture and tiny yellowish teeth along the margins. When the plant reaches maturity the plant sends up an erect inflorescence that rises to over twice the height of the plant with short branches off the main stem bearing pale green flowers. Another unique feature of this species is that, unlike most Furcraea it is not monocarpic, so does not die after flowering. It also does not form the plantlets (bulbils) in the inflorescence like many other Furcraea do, so propagation if this plant is strictly from seed.

Plant in full to part sun in a well-drained soil and irrigate occasionally to infrequently. Though this species comes from a subtropical location much closer to the equator, it grows at a fairly high elevation as so has been tolerant of the colder winter temperatures in coastal California and in New Zealand it had been documented to tolerate temperatures down to around 20°F. This very interesting and attractive rare plant should make a nice addition to most any garden with its rosettes of steely blue foliage on trunks rising several feet about the ground.

Furcraea quicheensis is reported to be native to the highlands of southwestern Guatemala and southernmost Chiapas, Mexico, as well as further to the southeast into Honduras, where it can be found at altitudes between 6,600 and 11,000 feet in pine and oak forests. The name Furcraea was given to this genus in 1793 by the French botanist Etienne Pierre Ventenat (1757–1808) to honor French chemist and politician, Antoine F de Fourcroy (1755-1809), who was the Director of the Jadin des Plantes in Paris. The specific epithet is a reference to the Department of Quiché (equivalent to a "State") in northern Guatemala where the type plant of the species was first identified. Our plants were grown from seed sent to us in 2022 by Brian Kemble, curator of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, who had the plant flower and set seed in that garden. The plants in the Ruth Bancroft Garden were originally from the Huntington Botanic Gardens as HBG 96606 and introduced in 2012 through their International Succulent Introduction program as ISI 2012-18. These ISI plants were 2nd generation seed from plants grown from seed collected in 1999 by Tim Prebble in northern Guatemala. 

This information about Furcraea quicheensis 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.

 
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