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Agave attenuata (Fox Tail Agave)


Scientific Name

Agave attenuata Salm-Dyck

Common Names

Dragon Tree Agave, Elephant's Trunk, Fox Tail, Fox Tail Agave, Gooseneck Succulent, Lion's Tail, Soft-leaved Agave, Spineless Century Plant, Swan's Neck


Agave attenuata subsp. attenuata, Agave attenuata var. compacta, Agave attenuata var. latifolia, Agave attenuata var. paucibracteata, Agave attenuata var. subundulata, Agave cernua, Agave glaucescens, Ghiesbreghtia mollis

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Agave


This species is native to the plateau of central Mexico.


Agave attenuata is a succulent that forms large rosettes of attractive spineless leaves atop a stout stem that can grow up to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall. The leaves are yellowish-green, blue-green to gray-green, up to 28 inches (70 cm) long, and up to 6 inches (15 cm) wide. Flowers are greenish-yellow and appear in summer on up to 10 feet (3 m) long, usually drooping flower stems. The rosette dies after flowering, but produces offsets around the base, often forming a colony of rosettes.

The specific epithet "attenuata" derives from the Latin "attenuatus," meaning "tapered or narrowed" and refers to the shape of the leaves.

Agave attenuata (Fox Tail Agave)

How to Grow and Care for Agave attenuata

Light: These plants require full sun to part shade. If you are growing Agaves indoors, choose a bright, sunny window with as much sun possible. Agave plants love going outside from spring to fall.

Soil: Agaves will tolerate most soils as long as they have good drainage, but their preference is sandy or rocky soil.

Hardiness: Agave attenuata can withstand temperatures as low as 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b.

Watering: Mature plants are very drought tolerant. From spring to fall, water thoroughly your Agave when the soil mix becomes dry. In winter, water sparingly about once a month. Plants in containers require more frequent watering than those in the ground.

Fertilizing: Give your Agaves a small amount of fertilizer in the spring during the first two years.

Repotting: When the pot becomes full of roots, it has become pot-bound. If you notice you Agave becoming pot-bound, repot it with new soil in a new pot that is just slightly larger than the old one.

Propagation: Since it can take years to produce seeds, Agaves are usually propagated by offsets.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Agave.

Toxicity of Agave attenuata

Agave attenuata is not toxic to humans, but the sap of the leaves and inflorescence may be mildly poisonous to children and pets.

Cultivars and Hybrids of Agave attenuata


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