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AGAVE chrysantha

Image of Agave chrysantha

Maureen Gilmer

Family

Agavaceae

Botanical Name

AGAVE chrysantha

Plant Common Name

Goldenflower Agave, Goldenflower Century Plant

General Description

Few American Agave offer the spectacular looks and heat tolerance of this rugged native succulent. It’s found in a very small range at higher elevations of the mountains of Central Arizona amidst the chaparral, where it is quite cold hardy. Conversely it is one of the toughest agaves for full sun on the low desert floor. Such a wide range of adaptability makes an excellent landscape plant for a range of arid regions.

Its lovely evergreen leaves are large, blue-green to green, depending on the individual, and have sharp-toothed edges and a wicked spine at the tip. It has one of the tallest and largest flower stems in the entire genus. It is topped with a zigzag of branched clusters of glistening golden blooms. They are nectar and pollen-rich and exude a coconut-like odor, which draws a variety of wildlife pollinators from bees to hummingbirds and bats. The parent rosette will die after blooming, but its offsets will continue to grow and may be severed and repotted or replanted.

While easy to grow, if provided full sun and porous, well-drained soils, this species is highly vulnerable to the agave snout-nosed weevil and should be avoided where these pests are a problem.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    20"-39" / 50.8cm - 99.1cm

  • Width

    31"-71" / 78.7cm - 180.3cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Southwestern United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Gold

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No