Agave albopilosa


There are not synonyms for this plant


A. albopilosa is native to Mexico Northeast where the plant grows on limestone soils and can spread up to 1500 m of altitude.


A. albopilosa is a small drought resistant succulent belonging to the Agavaceae botanical family. The plant has a dense rosette of leaves that can reach up to 36 cm in height and 40 cm in diameter. The leaves are thick, narrow, triangular, fleshy, curved upward and bright green to yellowish in color. A very peculiar characteristic of the plant is a white tuft of fibres at the apex of each leaf. This feature gives the plant its name and is supposed to be useful for absorbing moisture and resisting periods of drought. The terminal spines are small, short black grey and spoke out form the apex of the white fibre. Blooming occurs during the spring and blossom are borne by stalks. The inflorescence is a panicle and the flowers are bell-shaped, showy, greenish-purple in color. The fruits are elongated containing black and seeds.


This is a slow growing plant, easy to cultivate. The plant needs a full light sun exposure but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The plant does not like temperatures below 6°C so it needs to be placed indoors in the coldest periods. The soil should be mixed with pumice, clay and loam to allow the drainage and prevent the root rot, the plant is prone to it indeed. Using a perforating pot, you can drain excess water. Watering is very important for this species and should be done well: during the vegetative period you can water the plant (every 7 days), checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. About fertilization, for this plant is sufficient to fertilize moderately during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for succulents and stop fertilizing during the winter. You should repot the plant every 2 years in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.


Propagation can be done by cutting or by seed. By cutting you can make the cut during the spring and then let the cutting dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form, then place the cutting in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C. By seed it is very simple to propagate the plant, it is enough to sow the seed in a sandy loam soil and keep it with a high level of humidity and at temperature of 14 C°.


The Mesoamerican civilizations have long exploited the agave properties: it was used to get drinks, syrups, animal feed, textile fibers, medicinal packs. Some of these uses are still standing: the tequila, for example, is made by Agave Blue. The specific epithet “albopilosa” derives from the Latin “albus” that means white and “pilosa” which means hairy.

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