Agave utahensis var. eborispina (Hester) Breitung
Ivory-spined Agave, Utah Agave
This variety is native to the United States. It occurs on dry limestone slopes at elevations from 3,000 and 5,000 feet (900 and 1500 m) in California, Nevada, and Utah.
Agave utahensis var. eborispina is a small succulent that forms rosettes of olive green to blue-green leaves with heavily toothed margins and a stout ivory-colored terminal spine. The rosettes grow up to 1 foot (30 cm) tall and are nearly equal in diameter. Leaves are up to 1 foot (30 cm) long, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) wide, with up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long marginal teeth, and up to 8 inches (20 cm) long terminal spine. In late winter or spring, mature rosettes send up an erect, up to 12 feet (3.6 m) tall stalk with many yellow flowers. After the rosette blooms, it dies.
The varietal epithet "eborispina (e-bor-ee-SPIN-uh)" is a compound of two Latin words, the dative singular of the noun "ebur," meaning "ivory (material)" or "a thing made of ivory" and the noun "spina," meaning "thorn, spine or prickle." It refers to the ivory-colored terminal spine on the leaves.
How to Grow and Care for Agave utahensis var. eborispina
Light: Like all Agaves, this plant requires full sun to partial shade. If growing A. utahensis var. eborispina indoors, choose a bright, sunny window with as much sun as possible. From spring to fall, it loves going outside.
Soil: A. utahensis var. eborispina 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. utahensis var. eborispina can withstand temperatures as low as -6 to 40 °F (-20.6 to 4.4 °C), USDA hardiness zones 6b to 10b.
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. utahensis var. eborispina 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. utahensis var. eborispina 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 watering it again.
Propagation: Since it can take years to produce seeds, A. utahensis var. eborispina 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 utahensis var. eborispina
A. utahensis var. eborispina is not toxic to humans but may be mildly poisonous to children and pets.
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