Nova Acta Phys.-Med. Acad. Caes. Leop.-Carol. Nat.
Cur. 16(2):678. 1833
[Flora 15: 2(Beiblatt 2):9, 1832
Mexico (coahuilia, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Durango, Zacatecas, San Luis
Potosi, Queretaro, puebla)
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
- 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.
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