Agave potatorum “Verschaffeltii”


Agave potatorum var. verschaffeltii
Agave verschaffletii


This Agave is native to and area which goes from southern Pueblo to central Oxaca and Chiapas; it grows at an altitude of 1200-2200m, in semi-arid lhighands.


Agave “verschaffeltii” is a small succulent, growing a usually solitary, symmetrical rosette. The rosette is open, semispherical, up to 60 cm in diameter. Anyway,the size of the plant is quite variable, anche can reach a 90cm diameter when mature. Leaves are blue/silvery-grey with bud imprints, andh they are up to 40 cm long, slightly twisted next to the tips. They have a terminal spine, which is slightly wavy, yellowish, reddish or dark brown. Characteristical of this Agave are the marginal spines, situated on tubercle-like prominences.


This easy-to-grow species is less cold-hardy than many other Agaves (resistant to -3° C degrees in winter). It does well in full sun or light shade, but in summer it needs some shade. It needs a very well-drained soil.  This plant  will grow faster with a good amount of water (specially in summer, but letting it dry before watering again) and fertilizer. During winter, only water enough to keep the leaves from shrivelling. It does great both in containers and in the ground, but plants grown outdoors are more drought tolerant.


Propagation can be done by seeds, or by basal suckers: remove them during spring or summer, let the cuttings dry for few days, then put them in compost.


Agave potaturum owes its name to the latin word “potator”, which means “of the drinkers”.This is a reference to the use of this plant in making alcoholic beverages,like the traditional pulque and Bacanora.

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