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Plant Database Search Results > Agave potatorum "Portillo Nejapa"
Agave potatorum "Portillo Nejapa" - Portillo Nejapa Butterfly Agave
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 "Portillo Nejapa" (Portillo Nejapa Butterfly Agave) A very nice large form of Agave potatorum with large rosettes to 2 to 3 feet tall by as wide with heavy broad gray upright and slightly recurved leaves that have closely spaced small mammilate margins bearing reddish brown teeth and a terminal spine of the same color. 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 reach about 10 years of age, it will flower (usually during the fall) and then unfortunately 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. The species ranges through the semi-arid highlands between 4,000 and 7,000 feet in Oaxaca and southern Puebla. These plants grown from seed collected southeast of the town of El Camarón Yautepec, along Hwy 190 south of Oaxaca City. Our previous introduction from this same location was a selected plant from a 2006 seed collection that has tight symmetrical rosettes and red teeth that we produce vegetatively and market as Agave potatorum 'El Camarón'. These Portillo Nejapa plants are from a 2019 seed collection and a seedlings will be more variable with a slightly more open rosette, but they are still one nicest forms of Agave potatorum. Howard Scott Gentry in his landmark Agaves of Continental North America (University of Arizona Press, 1982) wrote of these plants found "8-14 miles south east of Camarón" that they were "outstanding with large mammilate individual rosettes" and pictured he one in the book with the caption "the large, mammilate leaf form found south of Camarón in southern Oaxaca." The name Portillo Nejapa comes from the name of the small chapel ("La Capillita") located along Hwy 190 just to the south of where these plants were found. 

Information about Agave potatorum "Portillo Nejapa" displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.