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Products > Agave 'Mateo'
Agave 'Mateo' - Matthew's Agave
Image of Agave 'Mateo'
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (now Asparagaceae)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 10-15 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Agave 'Mateo' (Mateo's Agave) - Upright growing succulent to 2 feet tall by an equal spread. When a young plant it is mostly a solitary rosette of unarmed (spineless) medium-green leaves that have a distinct pale band down the middle of each leaf. Like its one known parent, Agave bracteosa, this plant has leaves that emerge vertically in the center and arch gracefully back towards the center of the plant and, like this parent. 'Mateo' does produce suckers to form a good-sized cluster with age. When it flowers it has a spicate inflorescence to 15 feet tall with flowers that have green tepals and long yellow stamens.

Plant in full sun to light shade in well-drained soil and irrigate only occasionally to infrequently - has proven to be drought tolerant in coastal gardens. Likely hardy to 10 F though we only know it as hardy to 25 F as it went undamaged to this temperature in our January 2007 cold spell.

Agave 'Mateo' was discovered at San Marcos Growers in March 2003 by our salesman Matthew Roberts (AKA Mateo). He selected the plant from a crop of otherwise uniform Agave bracteosa that was grown from seed sowed in 1999. The seed had been purchased from Aztekakti Cacti and Succulent Seed of El Paso, Texas, who noted the source as wild collected. We speculate this plant to be a hybrid between Agave bracteosa and Agave lophantha because of the look of the plant and because the range of Agave lophantha overlaps that of Agave bracteosa.

We cored and divided this plant so that we have a small crop, but realizing it would take years to build up enough to sell we sent plants to Hans Hansen, then at Shady Oaks Nursery in Waseca, Minnesota and contracted it to be initiated and put into their micropropagation laboratory (tissue culture) program. We first received these lab produced plants back in late 2008 and introduced this plant in 2009. We also allowed other nurseries to purchase plants from Shady Oaks and it shortly became more widely grown. In later years we have continued to produce 'Mateo' by vegetative division of our stock plants. 

This information about Agave 'Mateo' displayed on this web page is based on research we have conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations we have made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens visited, as well how our crops have performed in containers in the nursery field. Where appropriate, we will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing this plant.