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Parry's Agave Agave parryi

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
a-GAH-vay PAIR-ree-eye
Description

Parry's Agave is a rosette-forming perennial native to the deserts of North and Central America. The plant generally likes drier soils and full sun and provides unique geometry and a slate gray/blue foliage to accent a sun garden. This plant, where hardy, is an evergreen which will retain its rosette of foliage into the winter.

Flowers grow from tall stalks that have the potential to rise to around 10-20' tall. One flower stalk will be produced from each rosette. These light-yellow, summer-blooming flowers produce seed pods. After flowering, the original rosette will die off and more rosettes will form off of suckers from the original plant.

This plant is used by Indigenous peoples in the Americas to make fibers and soap as well as food and medicine.

Other noted characteristics are that the plant suckers freely and root-rot can occur in overly moist soils.

 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Houseplants, Succulents, and Cacti", a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.

More information on Agave.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
  • var. huachucensis
var. huachucensis
Tags:
#evergreen#full sun tolerant#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#specimen#succulent#green flowers#yellow flowers#winter interest#accent plant#agave#contrast#coarse#sandy soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant#container plants
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • var. huachucensis
var. huachucensis
Tags:
#evergreen#full sun tolerant#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#specimen#succulent#green flowers#yellow flowers#winter interest#accent plant#agave#contrast#coarse#sandy soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant#container plants
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Agave
    Species:
    parryi
    Family:
    Asparagaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Native Americans use this plant for its fibers, to make soap, and as medicine. The liquid from a plant that is about to flower can be fermented to make pulque which can be distilled into tequila or mescal.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    US and Mexico
    Distribution:
    AZ, NM and northern Mexico elevations of 4,000-8,000 feet
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    drought, dry and sandy soil
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Perennial
    Succulent
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Very Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    Seed pods
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Description:
    Rarely flowers. Creamy yellow to green flowers on 6 to 15-foot stalk. It rarely flowers, taking 10-15 years, and dies after flowering but suckers at the base continue to grow.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Prickly
    Rough
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Basal rosette of 2-foot, semi-succulent, gray-green to blue-gray, thick, toothed leaves in a tight whorl with a dark terminal spine.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Patio
    Small Space
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Heat