- Broadleaf evergreen shrub, slow growing, a small to medium sized agave. Forms a basal rosette of green leaves, each ovate and 20-50 cm long and 8-20 cm wide with a short (2-4 cm) terminal spine and small marginal teeth (0.2-0.4 cm). It produces a large flower cluster (panicle), 2-4 m tall (appearing like a giant asparagus stalk) with 8-14 lateral clusters that carry a large number of yellow or reddish flowers (6-10 cm long). It may take 30 years to bloom; the rosette dies thereafter. The fruit is 5-7 cm long, usually oblong to ovoid, and contains small black seeds.
Sun, may require shade in hot inland climates, well-drained soil, little irrigation, summer irrigation may be harmful. A good container plant.
Hardy to USDA Zone 8 An endangered species that is rare in southern California but more common in coastal northern Baja California. Historically found on Coastal bluffs and nearby mesas and foothills.
shawii: in honor of Henry Shaw (1880-1889), the founder of the Missouri Botanical Garden
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