Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Agave ‘Blue Flame’ (photo courtesy of Linda Lamb Peters)
Agave ‘Blue Flame’ (photo courtesy of Linda Lamb Peters)

Click to Enlarge

Zone
Zones 12-24
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular WaterMinimal Water
Moderate, Minimal
Toxicity
Sap causes severe skin irritation

Agave potatorum

Butterfly Agave

Cacti and succulents

AGAVE

Sculptural succulents with rosettes of fleshy leaves. Impressive, sometimes colorful, flower stalk emerges from the rosette’s center looking something like a giant asparagus; some kinds produce clusters of flowers on side branches, while others have flowers packed along the stalk. After flowering—which may not occur for years—the foliage clump dies, usually leaving behind suckers that make new plants.

These plants shrivel from serious drought but plump up again with watering or rainfall. Provide good drainage. Species listed here are native to Mexico, except as noted.

Agave potatorum (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)
Agave potatorum (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)

Click to Enlarge

Agave potatorum

Grows to 1–2 ft. high and 2–3 ft. wide, usually as a solitary rosette. Its short, broad, toothed, blue-gray leaves flare outward, giving a ruffled appearance. Each leaf is tipped with a distinctive, often twisted, reddish spine. Best in full sun. Needs regular water in desert, little to moderate water along coast. Fine choice for a large container.

You Might Also Like...

Echinocactus

Large, cylindrical cacti with prominent ribs and stout thorns. Many are native to the Southwest. Best ...

Fraxinus velutina coriacea

Native mostly to Southern California. Broader, more leathery leaves than the species.

Mascagnia macroptera

Grows to 15 ft., with 3-in. leaves. Abundant bright yellow flowers are followed by conspicuous 2-in., ...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More

Advertisement