Agave geminiflora - Cactus Club

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Agave geminiflora

Plant of the Month > Species A to B

by Harry Gate

This month’s plant is Agave geminiflora. At first glance this plant does not appear to belong in the Agave family. A. geminiflora is a solitary, short-stemmed plant that forms dense, symmetrical rosettes of narrow dark green leaves. Moderately fast growth rate can make a nice sized specimen in a short time - 3 feet (1 m) high with equal spread. (Mine is a 4" pot) The very narrow leaves are quite pliable and slowly bend over. According to Gentry, the native habitat of this remained a mystery for some time. It is still known only from a small area in Nayarit, Mexico, where it grows in rocky ground among oak trees. The species name geminiflora is derived from the fact that there are two flowers at each bract along the spike. The flowers are greenish near the base, flushed with red or purple.

It is not hardy, although if damaged by cold will regenerate in the spring. Some sources indicate that it will offset, but the prevailing opinion is that it does not. Like almost all agaves, it is monocarpic, the plant dying after flowering. Propagation is from seed.

It closest relative is Agave ornthihobroma, another novelty in the agave family.

Flexible, unarmed leaves allow this agave to be tolerable house plant. I obtained my plant from Kingwood Gardens in Mansfield.

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