Agave caymanensis Proctor
This species is endemic to the Cayman Islands, where it grows in dry shrublands.
Agave caymanensis is a succulent plant that forms rosettes of massive fleshy leaves with spiny margins and a sharp terminal spine. The rosettes grow up to 13.1 feet (4 m) tall and up to 10 feet (3 m) in diameter, forming a short trunk clothed in dead leaves. In late winter or spring, the mature rosettes send up an erect, up to 20 feet (6 m) tall stalk with clusters of many yellow flowers. The rosette dies after flowering.
This species was previously confused with Agave sobolifera. It was described as a separate species in 2012.
The specific epithet "caymanensis (kay-man-EN-sis)" is a compound of two words, "cayman" and the Latin suffix "-ensis," meaning "of or from a place." The word "cayman" refers to the Cayman Islands, the native range of this species.
How to Grow and Care for Agave caymanensis
Light: Like all Agaves, this plant requires full sun to partial shade. If you are growing A. caymanensis indoors, choose a bright, sunny window with as much sun as possible. From spring to fall, it loves going outside.
Soil: A. caymanensis will tolerate most soils as long as they have good drainage, but its preference is sandy or rocky soil.
Hardiness: During the growing season, it likes warm temperatures, while in winter, when resting, this succulent enjoys cooler temperatures. A. caymanensis can withstand temperatures as low as 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b.
Watering: From spring to fall, water thoroughly when the soil 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 A. caymanensis a small amount of fertilizer in the spring during the first two years. Established plants seem to take care of themselves.
Repotting: If you notice your A. caymanensis becoming pot-bound, repot it with fresh soil in a new pot that is just slightly larger than the old one. Give the plant a week or so to readjust before you water it again.
Propagation: Since it can take years to produce seeds, A. caymanensis is usually propagated by offsets. The best time to remove the offsets is in spring and summer. Sow the seeds in spring.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Agave.
Toxicity of Agave caymanensis
A. caymanensis is not toxic to humans, but it may be mildly poisonous to children and pets.
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