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Agave parryi (Parry's Agave)

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Scientific Name

Agave parryi Engelm.

Common Names

Parry's Agave, Parry's Century Plant, Mescal Agave, Artichoke Agave

Synonyms

Agave chihuahuana, Agave patonii

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Agave

Description

Agave parryi is a slow-growing succulent, up to 3.3 feet (1 m) tall and about the same in diameter. The leaves are grey-green and have a spine at the tip. One of the distinguishing features is that the point on the tip, which is typically dark tan, brown or black, is darker than the leaf. Indentations of previous leaves show on the back of each leaf. Bloom spikes emerge from older rosettes, which die after flowering.

Photo via fs.fed.us

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 5a to 11b: from −20 °F (−28.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Agaves are not difficult plants to grow. They are slow-growing and dramatic and will even thrive on a bit of neglect. If you are 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 are 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 is also best to handle your plant 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.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Agave.

Origin

Agave parryi is native to Arizona, New Mexico, and northern Mexico.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

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