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Products > Agave potatorum
 
Agave potatorum - Butterfly Agave

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Agave potatorum
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (now Asparagaceae)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Synonyms: [A. scolymus, A. verschaffletii]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Agave potatorum (Butterfly Agave) - A medium-sized solitary agave from the semi-arid highlands between 4,000 and 7,000 feet of Puebla and Oaxaca. It has broad gray leaves that form in an open symmetrical rosette to 1 to 2 feet tall by 2 to 3 feet wide. The many 10 to 18 inch long leaves are slightly reflexed back near the tips with chestnut brown spines; the 1 inch long terminal spine is slightly wavy and the short marginal spines are on tubercle-like prominences. When mature a flower spike rises 10 to 20 feet bearing light green flowers tinged with red and subtended with red bracts. This agave rarely offsets so, after maturing, which in our experience begins to occur when plants are as young as 10 years old, it will flower (usually during the fall) and then the entire plant declines and dies. Plant in full sun with little irrigation required in coastal gardens but provide some supplemental irrigation in hotter inland gardens. Winter hardy to around 25 degrees. This species is quite variable in form; some plants have flatter leaves radiating straight out from the crown while others have leaves that are slightly cupped along the margins and are reflexed back. This beautiful agave was appreciated by the Nahuatl Indians who called it "papalometl" meaning "Butterfly Agave". The specific name "potatorum" is the generative of the Latin word 'potator' meaning "of the drinkers" in reference to the use of this plant in making alcoholic beverages.  The information on this page is based on research conducted about this plant in our library and from reliable online sources. We also take into consideration observations of this plant in our nursery crops, as well as of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens we visit. We also will incorporate comments that we receive from others and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if it includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Agave potatorum.
 
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