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Agave bovicornuta (Cow Horn Agave)


Scientific Name

Agave bovicornuta Gentry

Common Names

Cow Horn Agave

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Agave


Agave bovicornuta is a very attractive, small to medium-sized, solitary growing Agave. It is up to 3 feet (90 cm) tall and up to 5 feet (1.5 m) wide, with an open rosette of up to 30 inch (76 cm) long and up to 6.5 inches (16.5 cm) wide, yellow-green to medium-green leaves that are widest in the middle. The leaf blades are attractively edged with large, reddish, dark brown teeth on large teats, some recurving back towards the base and others towards the leaf tip, which has a short stout terminal spine. The broad leaf surfaces are further decorated by impressions (crenulated bud imprints) made by the margins of other leaves as they emerge from the center of growth and the new leaves have an attractive satiny finish. When the plant matures, which usually takes 12 years or more, it produces a up to 23 foot (7 m) tall, branched inflorescence bearing 2 inch (5 cm) long, yellow and green flowers.

Photo by Michael B. Roberts‎


USDA hardiness zone 8b to 11b: from 15 °F (−9.4 °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 cause injuries to small children and even pets.

In general, Agave do not need to be repotted every year. Most of the species commonly found in cultivation grow very slowly and will 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 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 bovicornuta is native to mountainous regions in the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Sonora and Sinaloa.


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