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Agave macroacantha (Black Spined Agave)


Scientific Name

Agave macroacantha Zucc.

Common Names

Black Spined Agave


Agave besseriana, Agave flavescens var. macroacantha, Agave integrifolia, Agave linearis, Agave oligophylla, Agave pugioniformis, Agave subfalcata

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Agave


Agave macroacantha is a succulent that forms dense clumps of rosettes that can be basal or can grow on a very short stem. Leaves are fleshy, grayish-green, and up to 1.8 feet (55 cm) long. They have small dark brown teeth and an almost black, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long terminal spine. Flowers are small, grey and red, and appear in clusters on sturdy, up to 10 feet (3 m) tall stem.

Agave macroacantha - Black Spined Agave

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USDA hardiness zones 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 are 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, 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. See more at How to Grow and Care for Agave.


Naturally occurring in Oaxaca and also near the town of Tehuacan in the State of Puebla, Mexico.



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