Agave palmeri Engelm.
Palmer's century plant, Palmer agave, Blue century plant
Agavaceae (Century-Plant Family)
USDA Symbol: AGPA3
The basal rosette of stiff, succulent, sword-like, spine-tipped leaves are distinctively bluish in color. Greenish-yellow flowers, tinged with purple, appear in a cluster at top of a tall flower stalk. A tall stout flower stalk, resembling a huge candelabrum, growing from center of a compact rosette of thick, rigid, narrowly lanceolate, grayish-green leaves. The plant blooms only once, after which the several-year-old agave dies.
Century plants such as this provided Native Americans in the Southwest with food, beverages, fiber, soap, medicine, and lances.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Size Class: 1-3 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: AZ , NM
Native Distribution: NM, s. AZ & Sonora
Native Habitat: Rocky, open slopes; 3500 to 7500 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Considered easy to grow and somewhat frost-hardy.
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)Agave palmeri is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Arizona Giant-Skipper |
Learn more at BAMONA
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Tohono Chul Park, Inc. - Tucson, AZ
BibliographyBibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
Search More Titles in Bibliography
From the ArchiveWildflower Newsletter 1988 VOL. 5, NO.5 - Penny Campaign Grows Oklahoma Wildflowers, Wildflower Center Collects Honors, Di...
Recommended Species Lists
Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.View Recommended Species page
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Agave palmeri in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Agave palmeri in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Agave palmeri
MetadataRecord Modified: 2009-02-20
Research By: TWC Staff