Agave attenuata (2012)

PhotoBy Sheri McCann (March 2012)

I was pleased to go home with the February plant specimen, Agave attenuata. It is a species of agave from the family of Asparagaceae. It is also called the lion’s tail, swan’s neck or foxtail because of its curved stem, which is unusual among agaves.

This agave is from central Mexico and is rare in the wild. Its flowers are greenish-yellow on dense, arching spikes, which can grow 20 to 60 inches long. It can take up to 10 years to bloom and blooms only once. But, unlike other members of its family, this plant does not die after it blooms.

The specimen I have is flush to the soil, but as the plant gets older, it produces a stout trunk that can reach 5 feet tall. The leaves are translucent with no spines. This is an attractive and easy-care plant.