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Glendale Public Library
Xeriscape Demonstration Garden Information Sheet

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Agave vilmoriniana-Octopus Agave 

Octopus Agave is a medium to large plant, growing to 4 feet high by 6 feet wide. The arching twisted leaves are medium green, long and narrow, and deeply channeled and fleshy. The undulating and twisting leaves show why this plant is called Octopus Agave. The leaf margins have very fine, soft serrations and a soft terminal spine.

Each plant blooms once taking 6-8 years to bloom, sending up a 15 to 20 foot tall spike of spectacular golden yellow flowers. This flowering generally occurs from March to May. The flowers are followed by both seed capsules and bulbils. (Bulbils are “baby” plants that are produced along the flower spike. These can be collected and planted to replace the dead mother plant.) 

It handles full sun in coastal regions, and looks best if it receives some shade in low deserts. It is somewhat subject to agave snout weevils.  It is native in north west Mexico from 2000-5000' on volcanic cliffs.  It does not take reflected heat and is a bit frost sensitive below 25F.

© Webmaster & Author George Hull Last Updated August 10, 2003