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  Agave  striata "minima" (= nana) CACTUS ART
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 Agave striata "minima" (= nana)

A dwarf plant that looks quite different from the wider leafed agaves with its long, very narrow, gray green leaves that can reach only 10-15 cm tall.  The leaves are quite stiff and delightfully painful.

 

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Family: Agavaceae

Scientific name:  Agave striata Zucc.
Nova Acta Phys.-Med. Acad. Caes. Leop.-Carol. Nat. Cur. 16(2):678. 1833
[Flora 15: 2(Beiblatt 2):9, 1832

Origin:  Mexico (coahuilia, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Durango, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, Queretaro, puebla)
The
'minima' form is probably a nursery produced cultivar.

Habitat:  It is limited to drier valleys and plains, with rainfall /year less than 500 mm.

Ecology: It is one of the few non-monocarpic agaves.  The initial rosettes, after the flower stalks finish blooming in mid-summer, branch and continue to grow, eventually creating a stack of porcupine-like balls.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Common Names include: Needle agave

Synonyms:  

  • Agave ricurva Zuccarini 1845
  • Agave striata var. ricurva (Zuccarini) Backer 1877
  • Agave ensiformis hort, ex Backer 1977
  • Agave striata mesae A. Berger 1915
 



Description:
Agave striate is a dense, suckering rosette succulent with unique spiny pencil-like foliage, with nice spherical growth that branch profusely from the base. Older clumps can be to 2-3 m broad. Due to the wide area of distribution, this species shows many different forms, particularly for general habit and leaf form, and to a lesser extent in flower structure. It very similar to Agave stricta, and can be easily confused with a yucca.
On the contrary the A. striata "minima" here described - is a dwarf plant that only reach a maximum size of 15-25 cm.
Stem: Very short.
Leaves: Very numerous, linear, straight to arching, rather turgid, convex above, smooth or scabrous along the keels and below, with no marginal spines, 25-100 cm long, pale-green, silvery-grey or rusty, that turn a dark purplish-brownish apically below the terminal spine.
Spine: One apical, subulate, very pungent, about 1-5 cm long, dark reddish-brown or grey.
Inflorescence: Erect 1,5-2,5 km tall, rather laxly flowered.  Flowers greenish-yellow to purplish in fall.


Cultivation:
A. striata nana is a versatile and very hardy plant that can be grown in half-shade to full-sun. It can take moderate to severe freezes, and is extremely drought tolerant.  It tends to be more slow-growing than the standard species plant, hence the price. In winter watering this plant can be done once every 1-2 months, there is no need to mist the leaves. Agave striata is theoretically hardy to -3 C. Particularly when dry but it is best to avoid severe freezing temperatures. Heat Tolerance: Excellent.

Propagation: Relatively easy to propagate by by suckers (if available) Remove the basal suckers  in spring or summer and let the cuttings dry for a few days before inserting in compost.

Home | E-mail | Plant files | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search

All the information and photos in cactus art files are now available also in the new the Encyclopaedia of Succulents. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.