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Agave parrasana (Cabbage Head Agave)


Scientific Name

Agave parrasana A.Berger

Common Names

Cabbage Head Agave, Cabbage Head Century Plant, Parrasana Agave


Agave wislizeni subsp. parrasana

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Agave


This species is native to Mexico (Coahuila).


Agave parrasana is a slow-growing succulent that produces compact, usually solitary rosettes of fleshy, grey-green leaves irregularly dusted with a silvery-blue coating. The rosettes are up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall and about the same in diameter. Leaves are up to 16 inches (40 cm) long, up to 6 inches (15 cm) wide, and have gnarled teeth along the edges and a brown terminal spine. The teeth are brown, turn gray over time, and make striking imprints on both surfaces of adjacent leaves. In summer, mature plants produce flowers in panicles on a spectacular, up to 20 feet (6 m) tall stalk. The flowers are tubular, up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long, red in bud and open to yellow with red highlights.

The specific epithet "parrasana" derives from "Parras" and the Latin suffix "ana," and refers to the location of the original specimen in the Sierra de Parras, Coahuila, Mexico.

How to Grow and Care for Agave parrasana

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 parrasana can withstand temperatures as low as 10 to 50 °F (-12.2 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 8a 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 parrasana

Agave parrasana is not toxic to humans, but it may be mildly poisonous to children and pets.


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