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Agave asperrima (Rough Agave)


Scientific Name

Agave asperrima Jacobi

Common Names

Rough Agave, Rough Century Plant, Rough Leaved Agave


Agave scabra, Agave caeciliana, Agave wislizeni

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Agave


Agave asperrima is a succulent that forms rosettes of thick, blue-gray, deeply channeled leaves with large teeth along the margins and ending in a long dark brown spine. It grows up to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall. Leaves are up to 3 feet (90 cm) long and up to 6 inches (15 cm) wide. Mature rosette produces up to 20 feet (6 m) tall spike with peduncles, each bearing many bright yellow flowers.


USDA hardiness zone 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Agave is not a difficult plant to grow. They're slow-growing and dramatic and will even thrive on a bit of neglect. If you're the type of person who likes to fuss with houseplants and water a lot, Agave is probably not the plant for you. If, however, you're the type of person who likes to set it and forget it, and you have a sunny window, Agave might the way to go. Be aware that some of the large varieties will eventually outgrow your room (unless you have a large greenhouse), and Agave can be aggressive. They have irritating sap and sometimes very sharp thorns that can injure small children and even pets.

In general, Agaves do not need to be repotted every year. Most of the species commonly found in cultivation grow very slowly and take a long time to outgrow their pot. It's also best to handle your Agave as little as possible since they do not like to be disturbed. When you do repot, refresh the spent soil with a new potting mix and make sure the plant is firmly anchored in its pot. However, be careful not to pot the Agave too deep as that will encourage stem rot during the growing season. See more at How to Grow and Care for Agave.


Agave asperrima is native to the southwest United States (Texas) and Mexico.



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