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Agave parryi (Parry's agave)
Nugent, Louis R

Agave parryi

Agave parryi Engelm.

Parry's Agave, Century Plant, Parry Agave

Agavaceae (Century-Plant Family)


USDA Symbol: agpa4

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Like all agave plants, this plant is, for several years, a rosette of stiff, succulent, sword-like leaves. These 1 ft., spine-tipped leaves eventually subtend a tall flowering stalk supporting a cluster of yellow flowers at its tip. After the plant flowers, it dies.

Agaves are often called century plants and require many years to flower, but not a century. They provided southwestern Native American with food, beverages, fiber, soap, medicine, and lances. Today the liquors mescal, pulque, and tequila are made from the juice of the Mexican species.


From the Image Gallery

6 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 30 inches tall. Flower scape up to about 20 feet tall.

Bloom Information

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


Native Distribution: NM, AZ, w. TX, south to central Mexico
Native Habitat: High deserts

Growing Conditions

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


Use Food: The Indians ate the stems when the stems were young.
Use Other: It was important to the Indians for fiber.
Interesting Foliage: yes

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Orange Giant-Skipper
(Agathymus neumoegeni)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
Huachuca Giant-Skipper
(Agathymus evansi)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


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


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

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