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Products > Furcraea macdougallii
Furcraea macdougallii - MacDougall's Furcraea

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (Agaves)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Greenish White
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Synonyms: [F. macdougalii, Hort.]
Height: 12-20 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25° F
Furcraea macdougallii - A large-rosette forming succulent that has 6 foot long dark-green stiffly-upright leaves with regularly-spaced hooked teeth and grows up on a trunk that can be 8 feet tall or more - in habitat it can get up over 20 feet and is considered the tallest of the Agave relatives. We have seen this plant typically flower in cultivation when the trunk is 5 to 10 feet tall. When this plant blooms it produces a spike that can rise an additional 20 ft, bearing greenish-white flowers and then bulbils at the flower base - these bulbils perpetuate this plant's life as it is monacarpic and the main plant dies at flowering. This is one of the most spectacular and dramatic plants in the Agave family. It has a limited distribution from 2,600 to 3,300 feet in dry thorn forests in calcareous soils near Puebla in Oaxaca, Mexico. Plant in full sun and irrigate little or not at all - this is a drought tolerant plant. Hardy to light frost - temperatures to 28 F have not damaged this plant. The name Furcraea given this genus in 1793 by the French botanist Etienne Pierre Ventenat (1757–1808) honors French chemist and politician, Antoine F de Fourcroy (1755-1809), who was the Director of the Jadin des Plantes in Paris. This species was described by Eizi Matuda in 1955 in "Cactáceas y Suculentas Mexicanas" and named to honor Thomas MacDougall (1895-1973), a Scottish-born naturalist who explored southern Mexico. We have long spelled the specific epithet as "macdougalii" and thought the name honored Dr. Daniel Trembly MacDougal a desert ecologist from the New York Botanic Garden and namesake of such plants as Fouquieria macdougalii. We find this spelling common in many reliable sources (including The Plant List) but believe it to be incorrect.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Furcraea macdougallii.