Agave scabra


Agave asperrima
Agave caeciliana


This Agave is native to Texas and Mexico. It can grows up at an altitude of 500-1500; it is very common in ridges and canyons, on sandy and calcareous soils in desert scrub.


Agave scabra is a medium to large size succulent, acaulescent or very short stemmed; it forms a suckering rosette up to 1 m tall and 2 m wide. The few, long leaves are oblanceolate, rigid and acuminateand; they are rough and glaucous bluish-green, deeply channelled, and presents thick, brown marginal and terminals spines. The inflorescence is paniculate, usually not higher than 4,5 m: in every cluster there are 14-18 yellow flowers.


Agave scabra is usually cultivated outdoors in borders or rock gardens; when cultivated in containes, it will grow more slowly and will get smaller. It needs full sun and a very well-drained, sandy and slightly acidic soil. It is best to avoid severe freezing temperatures, even if it s theoretically hardy to -9° C, particularly when dry: during winter keep it in a cool, frost-free area in winter. In summer, it grows fairly fastif provided with aboundant water (but allows the soil to get dry before watering again); during the winter, only water enough to keep the leaves from shrivelling.


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


Agave scabra has many traditional uses: it provided food and drink;  it yielded strong fibres for ropes; it was used in the manufacture of paper, but also in the construction of fences and buildings. It could be found both in religious rites and like material for weapons.

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