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Agave shawii (Coastal agave)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Agave shawii

Agave shawii Engelm.

Coastal Agave, Boundary Century Plant, Shaw's Century Plant

Agavaceae (Century-Plant Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The spiny trunks of this clumped plant may be 4-12 in. long and tend to creep along the ground, branching from the base. A rosette of succulent, 1-2 ft., glossy green, lance-shaped leaves subtends the 3-12 ft. flowering stem which appears after 8-20 years. The tubular flowers are greenish-yellow and occur in a dense, terminal panicle. Leaves bear red, hooked prickles and a terminal spine.


From the Image Gallery

1 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 2 feet tall. Flower scape up to about 12 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Sep , Oct , Nov , Dec


Native Distribution: S. CA & Baja CA
Native Habitat: Dry, coastal bluffs & slopes

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils.


Description: Sow seed.
Seed Treatment: No treatment.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA


Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
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 shawii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Agave shawii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Agave shawii


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

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