Position: Full sun to light shade
Flowering period: After approximately 20 years
Soil: Moist, well drained
Eventual Height: 1.8m (flower spike up to 10m)
Eventual Spread: 1.8m
Hardiness: 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11
Sub Family: Agavoideae
Agave salmiana var. ferox is a vigorous, evergreen, rosette forming shrub. Its fleshy grey/ green leaves are strap shaped, up to 1.5m long with large spins (up to 8cm) arranged its leaf margins. It leaves are arranged in a rosette. Its small yellow flowers appear at the top of a tall, erect flower stalk. Each plant flowers once, usually after 20 years, after flowering it dies. It produces rhizome like offsets which helps the spread of this plant. Its root system is shallow and fibrous.
Agave salmiana var. ferox, commonly known as the Giant Agave, Pulque Agave or Maguey Verde, is native to central Mexico. In its native habitat it grows in a variety of conditions including rocky hills and slope.
The etymological root of the binomial name Agave is derived from Greek mythology being the daughter of Cadmus, who supposedly founded the city of Thebes. Salmiana is named after Joseph Franz Maria Anton Hubert Ignatz Fürst und Altgraf zu Salm-Reifferscheidt-Dyck (1773 – 1861), a German botanist. Ferox is from the Latin meaning ‘warlike’ alluding to the hard spines of this plant.
The landscape architect may find Agave salmiana var. ferox useful as a dramatic specimen plant. Once established this plant is drought tolerant. Care should be taken when locating this plant due to it very spiny nature.
Ecologically, Agave salmiana var. ferox flowers are attractive to nectar loving birds and pollinating insects.
Agave salmiana var. ferox prefers moist, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will not tolerate wet soils. It will tolerate poor soils.
Agave salmiana var. ferox requires little maintenance.