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Products > Agave albopilosa
Agave albopilosa - White Hair Agave
Image of Agave albopilosa
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (now Asparagaceae)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Green
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Height: 1 foot
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Agave albopilosa (White Hair Agave) - A clumping plant that form rosettes that reach to 10 to 12 inches tall by 18 inches wide with narrow upturned mid-green colored leaves that are thick and ridged. At the leaf tips are white tufts of short white hairlike fibers around and obscuring the terminal spine. When flowering occurs, an unbranched spike rises 2 to 4 feet with greenish purple flowers emerging from dark purple buds on the top half of the flower spike.

Plant in full to part sun in a well-drained soil and irrigate occasionally. Hardiness on this newly discovered species is not well documented as most are being greenhouse grown but our own plants have weathered short duration temperatures down to 30°F and there is speculation it is hardy down to 25°F or less. With more trying this plant in colder locations we hope to learn more about its cold tolerance.

This interesting and attractive small saxicolous (rock growing) agave was described in 2007 by Ismael Cabral Cordero, José Ángel Villarreal Quintanilla and Eduardo A. Estrada Castillón in Acta Botánica Mexicana (no. 80, July 2007) after being discovered in 1997 growing on a remote, nearly vertical cliffs in the nature reserve of La Huasteca in the Sierra Madre Oriental in the mountains of Nuevo Leon, southwest of Monterrey, Mexico at altitudes between 3,300 to 4,900 feet. It grows near Agave bracteosa, Agave lechuguilla Agave striata and Agave victoriae-reginae, and it is this latter species it resembles most closely, and some speculate might be in its distant lineage.

The name for the genus is one given by Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus. It comes from the Greek word 'agaue' (agauos or agavos) meaning "noble" or "splendid" and originates from Greek mythology. Agaue was the daughter of Cadmus, the king and founder of the city of Thebes, and of the goddess Harmonia. The name was first used by Linnaeus in 1753 when he described Agave americana. The specific epithet comes from the Latin words 'albus' meaning "white" and 'pilosus' meaning hairy in reference to the tufts of white fibers at the leaf tip. It has been cleverly marketed with the common name Cotton-tipped Century Plant. This plant has been highly prized by collectors and there are stories of plants being smuggled out of habitat shortly after its discovery in 1997. Our plants are vegetatively propagated from cored plants we originally grew from seed purchased from Rare Palm Seed in 2015. 

This information about Agave albopilosa 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.