Agave salmiana var. ferox (K.Koch) Gentry
Ferocious Pulque Agave
Agave ferox, Agave bonnetiana, Agave ragusae
Agave salmiana var. ferox is an amazing succulent that forms large, loosely leaved rosettes of very broad and well-armed, grey-green to glaucous grayish leaves. The rosettes grow up to 11.5 feet (3.5 m) in diameter. Leaves are up to 6.6 inches (2 m) and 14 inches (35 cm) wide. Matures rosettes produce an up to 30 feet (9 m) tall, candelabra-like spike with bright yellow flowers. Each rosette flowers once, usually after ten years, and dies.
The varietal epithet "ferox" refers to the hard, up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) long apical spines.
USDA hardiness zone 8b to 11b: from 15 °F (−9.4 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Agaves are not a difficult plants 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 be 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. 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 a 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.
This species is native to central and southern Mexico.
- Back to genus Agave
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus