San Marcos GrowersSan Marcos Growers
New User?
Wholesale Login
Enter Password
Home Products Purchase Gardens About Us Resources Contact Us
 Web Site Search
Plant Database
Search by Plant Name
  General Plant Info
Search for any word
  Advanced Search >>
Search by size, origins,
color, cultural needs, etc.
Site Map
Retail Locator
Plant Listings

  for JULY

 Weather Station

Products > Agave vilmoriniana
Agave vilmoriniana - Octopus Agave

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (now Asparagaceae)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow Green
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Height: 3-4 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Agave vilmoriniana (Octopus Agave) - A very unusual looking succulent with narrow green leaves that twist back towards the ground, making it look like a 4 feet tall and wide octopus with outreaching tentacles. Arching deeply furrowed leaves are unarmed, making this Agave a relatively safe plant for walkway areas or container growing. It should be noted the leaf margins, while unarmed to the eye can have small serrations and be fairly sharp. Plant in full sun. Tolerates drought and cold temperatures to 24 F. As with other Agave the main plant dies after flowering but this plant produces no suckers to replace itself. It does produce many new "plantlets" (or bulbils) within the inflorescence that can perpetuate the plant within the garden. Seems to flower within 7 to 10 years from plants grown from these plantlets. This agave was named in honor of M. Maurice Vilmorin, whose garden at Barres (now the Arboretum des Barres) was where Alwin Berger, the author of the first monograph on Agave, first saw this plant. Its natural habitat is cliff sides between 2,000 and 5,500 feet in the Mexican states of Sonora, Durango, Jalisco and Aquascalientes. Howard Gentry's passage in "Agaves of Continental North America" of this plant growing in its habit is wonderfully descriptive: "In the larger deeper canyons it forms extensive vertical colonies, which when viewed from a distance resemble giant spiders on a wall". This agave has one of the highest concentrations of smilagenen, a sapogenin; in Mexico the fibers of the leaves are made into a brush that contains its own soap. This is one of our long time favorites agaves and have continued to grow it since first offering it in our 1990 catalog.  Information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it. We also will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips would aid others in growing Agave vilmoriniana.