Fine Art

Agave xylonacantha

Agave xylonacantha, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Asparagales

Familia: Asparagaceae
Subfamilia: Agavoideae
Genus: Agave
Species: Agave xylonacantha

Agave xylonacantha Salm-Dyck, 1859

Agave amurensis Jacobi, Hamburger Garten- Blumenzeitung 20: 548 (1864).
Agave kochii Jacobi, Hamburger Garten- Blumenzeitung 22: 117 (1866).
Agave hybrida J.Verschaff., Nursery Cat. (Jean Verschaffelt) 12: 2 (1868).
Agave splendens Jacobi, Abh. Schles. Ges. Vaterl. Cult., Abth. Naturwiss. 1870: 63 (1870).
Agave perbella Baker, Gard. Chron., n.s., 7: 527 (1877).
Agave vanderdonckii Baker, Gard. Chron., n.s., 7: 527 (1877).
Agave xylacantha Anon., Gard. Chron., n.s., 7: 528 (1877).
Agave heteracantha var. splendens (Jacobi) A.Terracc., Prim. Contr. Monogr. Agave: 31 (1885).
Agave carchariodonta Pamp., Nuovo Giorn. Bot. Ital., n.s., 14: 591 (1907).
Agave univittata var. carchariodonta (Pamp.) Breitung, Cact. Succ. J. (Los Angeles) 31: 114 (1959).

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Northern America
Regional: Mexico
NE. Mexico

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Salm-Reifferscheidt-Dyck, J. zu, 1859. Bonplandia. Zeitschrift für die gesammte Botanik. Officielles Organ der K. L.-C. Akademie der Naturforscher. Herausgegeben von E. G. Seemann... Hannover, London, Paris 7:92.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Agave xylonacantha in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2019 Jan. 06. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2019. Agave xylonacantha. Published online. Accessed: Jan. 06 2019.
The Plant List 2013. Agave xylonacantha in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published online. Accessed: 2019 Jan. 06. 2019. Agave xylonacantha. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 06 Jan. 2019.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Agave xylonacantha in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 08-Apr-12.

Vernacular names
English: century plant

Agave xylonacantha is a plant species native to Hidalgo, Tamaulipas, Guanajuato and Queretaro in Mexico, but commonly cultivated as an ornamental on other regions. A. xylonacantha is an easy-to-grow member of the genus Agave.[4] The specific epithet 'xylonacantha' means "wood spines".[5]

Agave xylonacantha produces a basal rosette of up to 180 cm (6 feet) in diameter. Leaves are sword-shaped, up to 90 cm (3 feet) long and 7.5 cm (3 inches) across, each ending in a spine about 4– 5 cm (1.6-2 inches) long. Margins of the leaves have spines up to 3 cm (1.2 inches) across. This gives the margins an undulating appearance. Flowering stalks can reach a height of 3.3 m (11 feet). Flowers are up to 3.5 cm (1.5 inches) in diameter with greenish tepals.[6][7][8]

Cultivars include:

'Frostbite': the leaf's edges are a creamy yellow[9]
'Blue': the leaves are blue-green[10]


Hernández Sandoval, L.; González-Elizondo, M.; Zamudio, S.; Hernández-Martínez, M.; Matías-Palafox, M.; Sánchez, E. (2019). "Agave xylonacantha". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2019: e.T115699290A116354698.

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