Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Agave palmeri (Palmer's century plant)
Anderson, Wynn

Agave palmeri

Agave palmeri Engelm.

Palmer's Century Plant, Palmer Agave, Blue Century Plant

Agavaceae (Century-Plant Family)


USDA Symbol: AGPA3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

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.


From the Image Gallery

13 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Rosette of leaves up to about 4 feet tall. Flower scape up to about 20 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug


Native Distribution: NM, s. AZ & Sonora
Native Habitat: Rocky, open slopes; 3500 to 7500 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water 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)

Arizona Giant-Skipper
(Agathymus aryxna)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Tohono Chul Park, Inc. - Tucson, AZ


Bibref 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

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1988 VOL. 5, NO.5 - Penny Campaign Grows Oklahoma Wildflowers, Wildflower Center Collects Honors, Di...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Agave palmeri in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Agave palmeri in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Agave palmeri


Record Modified: 2022-11-01
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back