Hechtia texensis S. Watson
Texas false agave, Guapilla
Bromeliaceae (Airplant Family)
Synonym(s): Hechtia scariosa
USDA Symbol: HETE7
This bromeliad grows in north central Mexico and the Big Bend region of far west Texas, where it resembles Agave lechuguilla but is easily distinguished by the rich red color of its leaves - either the whole upper surface or just the edges and tips. The upward-pointing leaves are tapering, 1 to 1.5 inches wide at the base, up to 17 inches long, and lined with a regular array of large teeth (lechuguilla have no teeth). In arid conditions leaf tips may turn brown and become shriveled. The small, brownish white springtime flowers are borne on a branched stalk about 2 feet tall. New plants sprout from the base.
Description provided courtesy of The American Southwest.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Flower: Pale brown, whitish; in clusters along a branched stalk.
Size Class: 1-3 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Brown
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May
Native Distribution: Big Bend area of west Texas.
Native Habitat: Limestone terraces, gravel flats.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Rocky, Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam Clay
BenefitUse Ornamental: Attractive, Fall conspicuous, Accent tree or shrub
Use Wildlife: Nectar-insects, Seeds-Small mammals
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-1100 Collected 2007-09-04 in Brewster County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
BibliographyBibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 15 - The American Southwest (1994) John Crossley
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Hechtia texensis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Hechtia texensis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Hechtia texensis
MetadataRecord Modified: 2014-09-08
Research By: TWC Staff