Regarded as one of the most cold-tolerant agaves, Agave utahensis (Utah Agave) is a small, evergreen perennial succulent forming rosettes of thick, narrow, upward-curving, spiny-edged, blue-gray leaves with a long dark spine at their tips. Mature plants bloom in late winter, producing clusters of bright yellow flowers arranged along a 6 to 12 ft. tall spike (180-360 cm).
Agave utahensis comprises 3 varieties:
- Subsp. kaibabensis (Northern Arizona), with bright green leaves and grows solitary. Grows up to 8-24 in. tall (20-60 cm) and 16-40 in. wide (40-100 cm).
- Var. nevadensis (southeastern California, southern Nevada), with perfectly symmetrical rosettes of intense blue-green leaves and long spines. Grows up to 6-12 in. tall (15-30 cm) and 6-18 in. wide (15-45 cm).
- Var. eborispina (north of var. nevadensis) with dark green leaves and particularly beautiful and excessively long white terminal spines. Grows up to 6-12 in. tall (15-30 cm) and 6-18 in. wide (15-45 cm).
Both var. nevadensis and var. eborispina will slowly produce little clones around the mother plant, forming congested clusters that look best in rock gardens. Regardless of the variety you choose, Agave utahensis is a very attractive plant.
- Winner of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society
- Easily grown in rocky, dry, well-drained soils in full sun or part shade. Once established, water only occasionally during the hot season and avoid heavy winter moisture.
- Great for rock gardens, succulent gardens or Mediterranean gardens.
- Plant away from foot traffic: the needle-sharp spines on the leaf tips can be a hazard to humans and pets. Don't plant this Agave near paths or walkways
- Attracts hummingbirds and birds but is deer resistant
- Virtually disease free. Watch for scale insects.
- Mother plant will die after flowering but offsets will form. Plantlets from flower spike may be replanted
- Use caution, safety glasses, long sleeves, long pants, well covered shoes, and gloves when cutting this plant.
- California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah.