30 Types of Agave Plants With Pictures

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Have you ever heard of an agave plant that matures over 30 years, blooms once, and then dies?

Agave plants are a captivating and varied group of succulents. They have drawn the interest of gardeners, plant enthusiasts, and even bartenders for their distinctive qualities and uses.

These plants come in various sizes, shapes, and colors, ranging from the imposing and majestic Agave Americana to the delicate and small Agave victoriae-reginae. Some agaves are grown for fiber, while others are grown for decorative purposes or as a natural sweetener source.

So, whether you’re a big admirer of plants, a tequila connoisseur, or just interested in the wonders of nature, the types of agave plants are fascinating to discover. Let’s look more closely!

Incredible Agaves

Of all the succulents, agave plants are some of the most incredible. They may not flower for decades. When they do, they can produce an enormous flower spike that grows to 20, even 30 feet tall. Like other succulents, agaves are drought-tolerant. The most famous agave is probably the one that gives us tequila.

Different Types of Agave Plants With Pictures

We’ve based our height and spread estimates on agaves grown in the ground. You may see less growth if you are planting in a container or growing your agaves indoors as houseplants.

To help you choose the ones that suit your backyard best we’ve featured 19 different types of agave plants below. Which are your favorites?

1. Agave Parryi

Types of Agave Plants
Common nameParry’s agave, artichoke agave
Height and spread2ft high x 3ft wide with a 15ft flower spike

This agave is first on the list because it’s one of our favorites. You can see how it got its artichoke name in the picture above.

This agave looks wonderful grouped with other succulents in a dry stony garden. Black spear-like spines grow at the ends of broad, blue-grey leaves. The flower spike is huge but may not appear for 10 or 15 years, as with many agaves.

2. Agave Attenuata

Types of Agave Plants
Common nameFoxtail agave, dragon tree
Height and spread5ft high x 8ft wide with arching 10ft flower spike

The foxtail agave doesn’t have spines, so it’s a good one to choose if you have a small space and might end up brushing against your agave plants all the time.

Those needle-sharp spines can hurt!  As a young plant, it makes an excellent choice for an indoors or patio container. The flower spike has green-yellow florets.

3. Agave Filifera

Types of Agave Plants
Common nameThread agave
Height and spread2ft high x 3ft wide with 8ft flower spike

One of the striking agave plant types with unusual creamy-white threads adorning the leaves. The leaves themselves are bright green, edged with white.

It may take 10 years to flower with green-white florets. Sometimes you will get new plants when the original rosette dies after flowering.

4. Agave ‘Blue Glow’

Types of Agave Plants
Common nameBlue glow agave
Height and spread2ft high x 3ft wide

A cross between Agave attenuata and Agave ocahui, this attractive blue-grey succulent has finely-toothed leaves edged with yellow and red.

It makes an impressive statement in any rock garden if you plant as a group. It will die back after flowering, but it will take 10 years to get to that stage.

5. Victoriae-Reginae

Types of Agave Plants
Common nameRoyal agave, Queen Victoria agave
Height and spread12-18 inches high x 2ft wide, 15ft flower spike

A compact agave makes a great feature in containers. This may be a small type of agave plant but it will live for 30 years, and it can produce a tall flower spike of cream or purple florets. The leaves are tipped with black.

6. Agave Stricta

Types of Agave Plants
Common nameHedgehog agave
Height and spread2ft high x 2ft wide, 6ft flower spike

A profusion of narrow, dark green leaves tipped with spines make this agave quite hedgehog or porcupine-like.

The leaves can get to about a foot in length. Small red flowers appear on a spike around 6 feet tall if your agave has the right conditions to flower.

7. Agave Tequilana

Types of Agave Plants
Common nameBlue agave, Weber’s blue agave, tequila agave, agave azul
Height and spread5ft high x 5ft wide, 16ft flower spike

The one that tequila is made from. This plant needs lots of space, so you’ll need a big backyard. It makes a fantastic feature in a desert garden. The blue agave also grows very well at high altitudes, around 5,000 feet. It will live for decades.

8. Agave Desmettiana

Types of Agave Plants
Common nameSmooth agave
Height and spread3ft high x 5ft wide, 10ft flower spike

This agave plant is really good in gardens because it’s a smooth-leaved variety. You won’t get speared by any sharp spines. It will grow very well in pots on patios and it is ideal for desert or rock gardens. There is also a variegated version.

9. Agave Americana, Agave Mediopicta, Agave Americana Marginata

Types of Agave Plants
Common nameCentury plant, Maguey
Height and spread6ft high x 10ft wide, flower stalk can reach 30ft in the wild

This agave plant can grow very large. It will look stunning as a feature plant in a container. Agave mediopicta and Agave americana marginata are both attractive variegated versions of the original century plant.

10. Agave Macroacantha

Types of Agave Plants
Agave macroacantha
Common name:Large-thorned agave, black-spined agave
Height and spread2ft high x 2ft wide, 6ft flower spike

With one inch black spines at the leaf tips, this blue-grey colored agave has a distinctive look. A medium-sized plant, it may flower after 15 years or so. It has purple-green flowers on a relatively short spike in the agave world, at just 6 feet.

11. Agave Geminiflora

Types of Agave Plants
Common nameTwin-flowered agave, twin flower agave, pincushion agave
Height and spread2ft high x 3ft wide, 10ft flower spike

Hundreds of densely-packed narrow leaves form the compact rosette of the twin-flowered agave. It has creamy-white filaments like some others listed here, and an impressive round shape.

12. Agave Parviflora

Types of Agave Plants
Common nameSmall flower agave, small flower century plant
Height and spread8 inches high x 8 inches wide

This may be the smallest type of agave plant we’ve featured here but Agave parviflora can still produce a flower spike of 3-7 feet in the right conditions. This cute agave is just perfect as a container plant. It has creamy yellow flowers which bees love.

13. Agave Angustifolia

Types of Agave Plants
Common nameCaribbean agave
Height and spread4ft high x 4ft wide, 16ft flower spike

This one has very sharp spines on the leaf tips, so be warned. A vivid variegated plant, the green leaves have yellow margins. It’s attractive to pollinators when it flowers. Agave angustifolia will produce new plants by sending out suckers.

14. Agave Vilmoriniana

Types of Agave Plants
Common nameOctopus agave
Height and spread4ft high x 6ft wide, up to 20ft flower spike

With its unusual swirly shape, the leaves of this agave plant look very like octopus legs.

You won’t mind getting close to it because its leaves are soft and people-friendly. A good choice to have beside a path, as it won’t matter if you brush against this agave.

15. Agave Potatorum

Types of Agave Plants
Common nameVerschaffelt agave, butterfly agave, toper’s agave
Height and spread2ft high x 2ft tall, flower spike up to 15ft

The leaves are said to resemble a butterfly’s wings. This is a slow-growing type of agave plant that might take ten years to reach full size. Being medium-sized it’s a good choice for a container. Once the butterfly agave flowers, it won’t produce any more plants.

16. Agave Lophantha, Agave Univittata

Types of Agave Plants
Common nameThorncrest century plant
Height and spread3ft high x 2ft tall, flower spike up to 12ft

A smart-looking plant with shades of dark and mid-green, this agave will tolerate temperatures down to -10֯ C. There is a very pretty variegated version with mid-green, dark green, yellow and reddish stripes called Agave lophantha quadricolour.

17. Agave Montana

Types of Agave Plants
Common nameMountain agave
Height and spread5ft high x 5ft wide, flower spike at least 10ft

With an impressive rosette of deep green leaves, the mountain agave is happy in colder climates. It grows in the pine-oak forests of Mexico’s Sierra Madre Orientale at an altitude of 6,000-10,000 feet. It will survive -10 ֯C. When it flowers, be prepared for an incredible 10-foot tree-like stem to emerge.

18. Agave Bracteosa 

Types of Agave Plants
Common name Squid agave, spider agave
Height and spread2ft high x 2ft wide but can get bigger, with 5ft flower spike

A perfect addition to a desert or rock garden, the spider agave is a slow-growing drought-tolerant plant which works very well in containers. Unlike some other types of agave plant, it will send out suckers to produce new plants once the original rosette starts to die.

19. Agave Parrasana

Types of Agave Plants
Common nameCabbage head agave, cabbage head century plant
Height and spread2ft high x 2ft wide, 20ft flower spike

A slow-growing compact succulent in an attractive blue-green colour. It will flower but it may take ten years – the flower buds are red, opening to yellow. This is another agave that sends out suckers to create new rosettes, rather than dying off completely. Very sharp spines, so not one to plant near a path.

20. Agave Asperrima

Agave Asperrima
Image Source: plants.countylinenursery.net
Common nameRough Century Plant
Height and Spread3ft high x 3ft wide

Agave asperrima produces rough, thick, blue-gray leaves. The plant has a vase-like shape due to the leaves’ pointy teeth along the corners and slight curvature towards the base. When the plant is fully grown, a tall flower stem carrying yellow-green flowers that entice pollinators. Agave asperrima is a native of Mexico and the southwest USA.

It thrives in hot and dry climates. The plant’s leaves are used to treat wounds and skin infections, and the sap is thought to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

21. Agave Albopilosa

Agave Albopilosa
Image Source: spadefootnursery.com
Common nameWhite Hair Agave
Height and Spread3ft high x 3ft wide

Agave albopilosa is a small species that produces either solitary or grouped balls of narrow leaves. Its most distinguishing characteristic is a complete ring of white fibers resembling hairs below the terminal spine. The end of each leaf appears to have cotton balls due to this character trait. 

The thorny area surrounding the terminal spine resembles the tip of a triangular wooden pencil, although the new leaves have no hair. The snow-white fibers are disclosed when the space opens like a mesemb capsule.

22. Agave Applanata

Agave Applanata
Image Source: babypalms.eu
Common nameGray Agave
Height and Spread2ft high x 2ft wide

Agave applanata produces a rosette of bluish-green, soft, flat, and lance-shaped leaves. The symmetrically arranged, inward-curving leaves give the plant a rounded appearance. Small, pointed teeth and a slight curve on the leaf’s edge help collect water.

Agave applanata is a native of Mexico and thrives in hot, dry climates. The plant develops a tall flower stalk as it matures. These are covered in yellow-green flowers that attract hummingbirds, bees, and other pollinators. It is frequently grown as a decorating plant in gardens and has medicinal uses in conventional medicine.

23. Agave Avellanidens

Agave Avellanidens
Image Source: agaveville.org
Height and Spread3ft high x 4ft wide

The Agave avellanidens is a fabulous plant with spiky and deep green leaves with reddish-brown edges. The plant native to East-central Baja California succulent is a beautiful addition to any garden or container. The Agave avellanidens thrive in well-draining soil and can withstand drought. It makes them the perfect plant for dry environments.

Additionally, this plant has been used as medicine by indigenous groups because it is thought to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

24. Agave Blue Ember

Agave Blue Ember
Image Source: succulentalley.com
Common nameBlue Ember
Height and Spread2ft high x 3ft wide

The Agave Blue Ember is a stunning and eye-catching plant. The beautiful gray-blue leaves with reddish-pink edges are what make this cultivar special. Its color scheme distinguishes it from other succulents and lends a touch of sophistication to any garden or landscape.

This cultivar grows well with other succulents and cacti and is excellent for landscaping. It tolerates drought well and prefers full sun and well-draining soil. That makes it a perfect option for people looking for low-maintenance plants because it can thrive in deserts and doesn’t need frequent watering.

25. Agave Boldinghiana

Agave boldinghiana
Image Source: agaveville.org
Common namePapiamentu
Height and Spread3ft high x 5ft wide

Agave boldinghiana is only found on the Leeward Caribbean and Islands of Bonaire. The plant bears the name of Dutch botanist Isaak Boldingh. It is a beautiful plant with narrow, pointed,  backward-lanceolate, and cone leaves that grow in rosettes. These thorns are dark red and have green leaves with a light blue bloom.

The Agave boldinghiana blooms in the center of the rosette on peduncles that spring up from the sinuses of the leaves. After the plant has concluded flowering, which takes about eight months, onions start to grow on the peduncle. These onions already contain tiny plants that eventually fall to the ground and create a new plantation.

26. Agave Bovicornuta

Agave Bovicornuta
Image Source: desertscapesfl.com
Common namecow horn agave
Height and Spread3-5ft high x 4-6ft wide

The Sonora, Chihuahua, and Sinaloa Mexican states are home to the agave bovicornuta species, indigenous to the northern Sierra Madre Occidental. Agave bovicornuta is a plant that grows north of Sierra Madre Occidental in the Mexican state of Sonora. It rises between 3,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level in rocky areas.

The plant leaves are very ornamental, with peaks and valleys along the edges decorated with reddish-brown teeth of various sizes. Some of these have tips that are flexed in multiple directions. The plant’s Latin name refers to how the teeth resemble cattle horns.

The leaves of the plant are typically deep yellowish and green. They frequently exhibit bud-printing. It is the term for the embossed impressions that adjacent leaves make on the surface of their leaves as they grow at the center of the plant.

27. Agave Chazaroi

Agave Chazaroi
Image Source: ebay.com
Common nameAmerican aloe plant
Height and Spread4ft high x 5ft wide

The agave chazaroi is attractive with broad, rigid, deep-green to bluish-grey leaves. It is unarmed reddish-brownish rims. Upon reaching maturity, the plant sends up a tall, unbranched spike of flowers.

The plant’s young leaves are wavy and are broadest in the middle. As the plant ages, the leaves almost lose their spines, leaving only a few tiny teeth-like spines near the leaf base.

This adaptable plant species can be combined with tropical or succulent plants. Despite the plant’s high level of drought tolerance, rich, well-drained soil and partial sun exposures help it grow. It can be grown indoors in a container or outdoors in a warm, protected area.

28. Agave Chiapensis

Agave Chiapensis
Image Source: greenleafnurseries.co.nz
Common nameChiapas agave
Height and Spread2ft high x 3ft wide

The medium-sized Agave chiapensis has broad, thick, smooth,  and bright green leaves. The shape of the leaves varies, but they are typically ovate with a narrow base and rounded below. The plant is symmetrical in appearance. The flower stem is spicate and can reach a length of two meters.

Agave chiapensis is a species that boom quickly and withstand occasional light freezes and drier conditions. It needs well-drained, sandy, or severe soil and thrives in either full sun or a lightly shaded area.

29. Agave Colorata

Agave Colorata
Image Source: species.wikimedia.org
Common nameMescal Ceniza
Height and Spread3ft high x 3ft wide

Agave colorata is a unique plant that grows on hillside slopes of volcanic mountain ranges in the coastline region of Sinaloan thorn scrub. It has blue-gray leaves with magnificent imprints and succulent rosettes with spiky stalks on the leaf blade. In spring, Redbuds on a 3m tall stem open to orange and yellow flowers in a panicle. It requires well-drained soil and grows best in partial to light shade. Watering should be given sparingly in the winter and liberally in the summer.

30. Agave Creme Brulee

Image Source: ebay.com
Common nameCreme Brulee Century Plant
Height and Spread2ft high x 2ft wide

The silvery-blue leaves of the unique and rapidly growing Agave Creme Brulee give it a distinct look. Due to its sculpted shape, it is a favorite among collectors. While plants in their natural habitat are generally solitary, cultivated clones frequently give birth to numerous suckers. Growing this agave in a shady area is best to avoid leaf burn. It also needs to be watered often but not to the point of saturation. It should be guarded against freezing because it is vulnerable to cold temperatures. Its offsets are used for propagation and abundantly produced during cultivation.

Grow Agave Plants in Containers

Agave plants are great in pots because they are usually slow-growing, and they won’t want to burst out of their containers quickly. We talk about rosettes a lot below — if you look at an agave plant from above you’ll see how the leaves form in a circular, rosette shape. This circular form makes the perfect shape for a container plant.

Want more ideas for drought-tolerant gardens? Check these out:

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