Lechuguilla (Agave lechuguilla) in the Agaves Database

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruit: Dehiscent
Flowers: Showy
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Will Naturalize
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Toxicity: Other: The juice from many species of agave can cause acute contact dermatitis that produces reddening and blistering lasting approximately one to two weeks. Itching may recur up to a year later without a visible rash. Dried parts of the plants can be handled sa
Propagation: Seeds: Can handle transplanting
Other info: Sow in shallow pots with a well draining, sterile mix; 50/50 organic/inorganic of coarse perlite, pumice; sphagnum peat or good compost. Avoid manures. Irrigate from below by submerging in water to 1/2 height of pot. Provide bright, indirect light and a
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Offsets
Other: Bulbils
Containers: Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth
Monocarpic

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Comments:
Posted by Baja_Costero (Baja California - Zone 11b) on Jan 4, 2019 11:42 AM

Smallish clumping agave, among the uglier members of the genus. Variable, usually with few leaves in open rosettes, and relatively few teeth that are downward slanted. Margins are straight and easily detached from dry leaves. Dark green dash marks often but not always appear on the underside of leaves.

This Chihuahuan Desert native ranges from New Mexico and Texas well into northern Mexico over a wide area. It is one of the most common agaves in northern Mexico. It shares much of its range with the related A. univittata, with which it may form natural hybrids and intergrade. Used to make ixtle, a fiber prepared from wild plants, both mature leaves and leaves in bud (which have a finer, more easily worked fiber).

Names for this plant may cause some confusion. There are several agaves with the common name "lechuguilla" in various parts of Mexico, but this is the only one with that as a botanical name. Several plants in Mexico, including agaves, yuccas and a bromeliad, are called "ixtle" because of their use for fiber. Agave lechuguilla and A. univittata may be called "Tula ixtle" to distinguish them from the others, and are responsible for most of the ixtle fiber in northern Mexico.

Toxic to livestock and generally avoided by cattle and sheep, thus mostly left alone in grazing areas. Livestock will eat the leaves in times of desperation and may die as a result.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Show off your Agave pictures here. by Stush2019 Dec 19, 2018 7:45 PM 163
Cactus and tender succulents chat 2017 by Dutchlady1 Jan 1, 2018 2:23 PM 1,213
Agave survival in the Pacific Northwest by tcstoehr Nov 1, 2018 7:52 PM 128
Cactus and Succulent chat 2016 by gg5 Apr 11, 2017 11:52 AM 1,827

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