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  Agave  stricta "rubra" CACTUS ART
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 Agave stricta forma rubra

 

Description: It is a small species, forming large balls of skewer-like leaves and looking like a very nasty porcupine. This species has the tightest spherical shape of any agave and will form offshoots to create a colony of rosettes.  Each rosette grows in a slightly different direction and reminds one of a freeze-frame photo of grasses blowing in the wind or of forests of anemones moving with the currents.
Stem: Thick branched.
Rosettes: Individual rosettes, with hundreds of thin leaves up to 30 cm in height and width.
Leaves: Narrow, evergreen, yellow-green, green or glaucous blue, square to roundish in cross-section, toothless on the margin, about 35 cm long; thick at base, then narrowing to end in a very sharp spine.  The forma rubra (red form) has thin red longitudinal lines on the leaves that give it a red colour that enhances under stress condition (especially drought, strong sun and cold)
Flowers: The flowers vary from green to reddish brown or purple, on a dense150-200 cm spike-like raceme.  It is one of the few non-monocarpic Agaves (just like A striata)
Blooming season: July to september.  May flowers when mature at 8-10 years.
 

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Family: Agavaceae

Scientific name:  Agave stricta Salm-Dyck
In: Bonplandia 7(7): 94 (-95). 1859  forma rubra

Origin:  Agave stricta is native to the Tehuacan Valley of southern Puebla and northern Oaxaca, in Mexico.

Habitat:  It is generally found on dry hills and on flats in the open desert.

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, Needle Leaf Agave, Globe Agave, Hedgehog Agave.

Etymology:

Synonyms:  

  • Agave striata var echinoides (Jacobi) Baker
  • Agave striata var. stricta (Salm-Dyck) Baker (1877)

 

 

 

 


A small sized Agave that forms perfectly spherical rosettes up to 30 cm in diameter. The leaves take a characteristic purple-red tinge especially in time of drought and in winter.

Cultivation: A. stricta 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. In winter watering this plant can be done once every 1-2 months, there is no need to mist the leaves. Agave stricta is theoretically hardy to -4 C, particularly when dry - but  it is best to avoid severe freezing temperatures. Heat Tolerance: Excellent

Propagation: Relatively easy to propagate 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.

NOTE: It is very similar to Agave striata, but tends to have more and somewhat curved leaves, shorter flower tubes and a generally more symmetrical shape.   In addition the leaves have a rounder section.  A mature plant of Agave sticta looks like a meatball or a balled-up hedgehog. Once you have seen this plant, you won't confuse it with the similar looking and sounding Agave striata.


Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of
Agave stricta.

 

Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery Agave

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.