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Octopus Agave
Scientific Name: Agave vilmoriniana A. Berger
Synonym: Agave vilmoriana, Agave mayoensis, Agave eduardii, Agave houghii
Family: Agavaceae
Octopus Agave (Agave  vilmoriniana) Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 12-24
USDA: 9-11

Frost Tolerance: Hardy to 20F (-6C), leaves are damaged at 25F (-4C)

Minimum Avg. Temperature: 50F (10C)

Heat Tolerance: Loves heat

Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade, avoid reflected sunlight in Phoenix

Origin: Cliffs from southern Sonora to Sinaloa states, Mexico, at 2000 to 5000 feet elevation (600-1500 m)

Growth Habits: Succulents, fast growing to 3 feet tall, 5 feet in diameter (0.9 by 1.5 m).

Watering Needs: Infrequent water

Propagation: Suckers (called pups), seeds, buds on the flower spike


The crushed leaves are used by the Tarahumara Indians as soap. This agave is named for Maurice de Vilmorin, with whom Berger found this Agave.

Octopus Agave (Agave  vilmoriniana)

Octopus Agave (Agave  vilmoriniana)

Cultural Practices:
Tolerates poor soil and drought, but requires excellent drainage.

Blooming Habits:
Blooms only when the plant is 7 to 15 years old or more. The flower stalk is huge (15 to 25 feet), starting like an asparagus, with yellow flowers. The plant then dies leaving suckers that grow into replacement plants. The spike generally produces large quantities of vegetative buds that can be planted. (the 2nd picture shows a segment of the floral stem with the crowded young plants)

Fruiting Habits:

References:
The Succulent Garden : A Practical Gardening Guide
Botanica : The Illustrated A-Z of over 10,000 Garden Plants

Check for Field Collection numbers at Ralph Martin's Site


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Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

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