Horticulture in the Desert

a place to share and learn about plants in the Sonoran Desert

Arizona’s Agave

Posted by VT Jenny on November 5, 2008

Agave x arizonica – Arizona’s Agave

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Agave x arizonica is native to only a small area in central Arizona, occurring on open rocky slopes in chaparral or juniper grassland at elevations from 1100 to 2750 m (3600-5800 ft). This species was only discovered and described in the 1960’s.

Plants are small, 20-35 cm high and 30-40 cm broad, and are generally single rosettes which sucker only sparingly.

Only 50-60 clones or plants are known.  It is listed as endangered by the U.S.  Fish & Wildlife Service.

The flower stalk is 2.5-4 meters tall and slender.  The inflorescence is subspicate to narrowly paniculate with 30-40 short lateral branchlets in upper 1/3 of stalk.  Yellow flowers are 25-32 mm long. Flowers appear May to July.

Controlled pollination studies done at the Desert Botanical Garden have shown that this species is of recent hybrid origin involving Agave chrysantha x A. toumeyana var. bella.

Text from Desert Botanical Garden
Photos by Jenny

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