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  • Botanical name: Agave potatorum
  • Common name: Agave
  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Plant Type: Cactus or succulent, Evergreen
Foliage colour:


Agave potatorum is a beautiful small variety of agave, forming a neat rosette of fleshy blue-grey leaves with dangerous dark brown spines. It’s perfect for growing in containers as part of a drought-tolerant display.

Grow Agave potatorum in well-drained soil. Hardy to -10°C, it needs protection from winter wet, ideally move to an unheated greenhouse in autumn.

How to grow Agave potatorum

  • Plant size

    30cm height

    20cm spread

  • Aspect

    South facing, west facing

  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Hardiness: Frost hardy
  • Soil type: Well drained / light / sandy

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Agave potatorum and wildlife

Agave potatorum has no particular known value to wildlife in the UK.

Is Agave potatorum poisonous?

Agave potatorum has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity toBirds

No reported toxicity toCats

No reported toxicity toDogs

No reported toxicity toHorses

No reported toxicity toLivestock

No reported toxicity toPeople


Description: Agave potatorum is a small Agave, growing solitary or slowly clumping, that forms an compact to open symmetrical succulent rosette. It is a very polymorphic species with a large range of variability from which many cultivated varieties have been derived. Rosettes may be anywhere between 10 and 90 cm in diameter when fully grown-up. Leaves may be few or many, variable in colour from green to yellowish green to nearly white glaucous grey or bluish. Generally they are ovate or short lanceolate, but very variable. Altogether, these variations illustrate that A. potatorum is a freely seeding outbreeding complex, that has been widely assorted by circumstances of habitat, changing climates over a long period of time, and man’s interventions.
Derivation of specific name: The specific name “potatorum” has nothing to do with potatoes, it comes from the genitive of the Latin word “potator” meaning ‘of the drinkers’ in reference to the use of this plant in making alcoholic beverages.
Stem: Usually stemless or very short stemmed.
Leaves: 30 to 80 per rosette, softly fleshy but rather rigid, thickened and narrowed toward the base, ovate, oblong, or short lanceolate, but very variable in shape, size and colour. They are mostly 9-18 cm broad and 20-40 cm long and green, blue-grey to light silvery-grey. They are slightly deflexed back near the tips that terminate in a distinctive, often twisted or slightly wavy, reddish, dark brown spine up to 2,5 long. The short marginal spines are often on pronounced tubercle-like prominences often dramatically so, with distinct teats. The teeth are usually rusty or yellowish coloured 0,6 to 1,3 mm long, 0,5 to2,5 cm apart. The leaves also have noticeable showy bud-imprints.

Flowers: The long spikes may by either a raceme or a panicle and rise up to 3 to 6 m bearing light green flowers tinged with red and subtended with red bracts.


Notes: Agave potatorum is included in the group Hiemiflorae. As a general rule, plants in this group have relatively short lateral branches on the inflorescence and tight ball-like clusters of flowers. They typically are winter-flowering, although Agave potatorum is a little earlier than most, with a September-to-December peak flowering time.




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