Advanced Search Filters

Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
Sunset Zone
Function
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Water Requirement

AGAVE toumeyana

Image of Agave toumeyana

James H. Schutte

Family

Agavaceae

Botanical Name

AGAVE toumeyana

Plant Common Name

Miniature Century Plant, Silver Dollar, Toumey's Century Plant

General Description

The small effusive rosettes of Toumey's century have sharp slender blades edged with slender white edges that pull away like delicate white scribbles. Though compact it makes a dramatic addition to any desert rock garden or container. This all-American native naturally exists in the mountains of Arizona. It is an unusually hardy species that can withstand periods of freezing as long as growing conditions remain dry, particularly at the root zone.

The dark green fleshy leaves of this century plant are small, straight with peeling white margins. The sharp white leaf tips are very sharp. Flowering only occurs when plants are mature, after many years. The ivory flowers are bell-shaped and appear in branched clusters atop tall stems in summer. They are fragrant and attract lots of desert pollinators. The fruits are capsules that age to dark brown and split at maturity to reveal, flat, black, shiny seeds. Once a rosette flowers it dies, though many Agave leave behind suckering colonies of living rosettes, or “pups”, at the base of the parent plant. Lots of species also produce small plantlets on the flower stalk, called bulbils, which can fall to the ground, root and become new plants.

Plant this century plant in hot full sun and nutrient-poor soil with sharp drainage. It will not tolerate any sustained moisture at the root zone, so be cautious not to overwater container-grown specimens. This perennial makes a great accent plant and looks nice planted among other succulents. It is lovely in containers and makes a fine houseplant for sunny windows or conservatories. Wickedly sharp Agave like this should not be planted where children play because it can be quite dangerous.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    2b, 3a, 3b, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    6"-15" / 15.2cm - 38.1cm

  • Width

    1'-3' / 0.3m - 0.9m

  • Native To

    Southwestern United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    White, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    White, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    White, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    White, Dark 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

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Houseplant, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No