Tonto Basin Agave
Agave delamateri


Plant from Above (Note Striping)

Spines Along Edges of Leaves

Inflorescence (Flowering Spike)

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Family: Agavaceae, Agave Family
Plant Size: A large Agave, up to about 39" (1.0 M) high, about as wide. Flower spike may reach 20' (6.0 M) in our area.
Blooms in: Spring/Summer
Habitat Preferred: Dry uplands - chapparal and Pinyon/Juniper associated with ancient pre-Columbian settlements
Photo(s) taken at: Various Verde Valley Locations. Inflorescence courtesy of Max Licher
Bloom Color: Yellowish Green at first, then Purple-Maroon - Flowers are not known to develop seeds
Other Common Names:
Origin: Pre-Columbian Cultivar
Comments: This plant is extremely rare, there being less than 100 known specimens alive today. It was cultivated by pre-Columbian Native Americans as a source of fiber and food. The original source species are unknown. It is listed as a "Highly Safeguarded" species by the State of Arizona Agriculture Dept. The plant is not known to develop seeds, and propogates by cloning "pups" around the base. Due to the rarity and cultural significance of this plant, please report any sightings to me by e-mail (
Further Reference & Sources: The Desert Botanical Gardens website for this plant;   The USDA PLANTS website for this plant;  The Arizona Dept. of Agriculture "Highly Safeguarded Plants List";   Download an Arizona Game and Fish Dept. monograph on this plant
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