Shaw's Agave (Agave shawii) in the Agaves Database

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 9a -6.7 °C (20 °F) to -3.9 °C (25 °F)
Plant Height: 3-4 feet
Plant Spread: 6-8 feet
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruit: Dehiscent
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Yellow
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Spring
Late fall or early winter
Winter
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Will Naturalize
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Drought tolerant
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
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth
Monocarpic

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Comments:
Posted by Baja_Costero (Baja California - Zone 11b) on Jan 10, 2016 1:20 PM

A variable species. Endemic to Baja California, extending north into Southern California, where its numbers are more limited. The northern ssp. shawii is generally smaller and found in coastal areas with a mild, often foggy climate, while ssp. goldmanniana (better suited for desert gardens) occurs further south and ranges inland, where it is hotter and drier. Similar-looking species found elsewhere include A. gentryi, A. montana, and A. salmiana.

Rainfall in NW BC (about 5-10" a year) occurs in fall through spring, mostly in winter. Summers are dry, but temperatures are limited to about 90°F/32°C in the maritime zone. Flowering generally starts in late fall in habitat and continues through the winter. The inflorescence of the northern form is about 6 feet tall, branched, and starts out covered in large purple or green bracts. The flowers are bright yellow. Plants die after they flower but frequently offset and thus can survive for a long time as a clonal colony.

In cultivation this plant can be fast-growing (1-2 years to gallon size) and quite tolerant of extended drought when established. It is fun to grow from seed because of the variation in spines, margins, size, age to offset, etc. This diversity (genetic in origin) is evident both within and between populations.

Allow plenty of extra space in the garden as many (not all) plants offset profusely when they are prospering, giving rise to a very attractive, fiercely armed clump over time. Individual rosettes may grow to about 3 feet wide but clumps can be a few times this size.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Very cool by lauribob Nov 20, 2018 11:22 AM 4
Show off your Agave pictures here. by Stush2019 Jun 21, 2019 4:13 PM 170
Photo page photo mismatches by skopjecollection Jul 9, 2018 11:09 AM 43
Cactus and succulents chat by Baja_Costero Jan 25, 2020 4:11 PM 6,362
7 years in the life of an agave by Baja_Costero Apr 25, 2017 3:18 PM 13
Cactus and tender succulents chat 2017 by Dutchlady1 Jun 10, 2019 6:45 AM 1,215

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