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Products > Agave ocahui
Agave ocahui - Ocahui
Image of Agave ocahui
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (now Asparagaceae)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Agave ocahui (Ocahui) - A smaller mostly solitary agave with a spherical rosette to around 18 inches tall by 2 feet wide with numerous upwardly inclined narrow dark green leaves lacking any teeth along the leaf reddish brown margins, but has sharp terminal spines. At maturity, which takes about 10 to 20 years, an unbranched inflorescence spike rises to 10 feet bearing densely packed golden yellow flowers. When in flower the foliage often takes on interesting shade of maroon and after flowering small plantlets, called bulbils, are produced in the old flower axils. Plant in full sun to light shade in most any soil type that drains well. Requires very little irrigation in summer months but looks best with an infrequent soaking in late spring and early summer and is reliably cold hardy to 15F and there have been reports of it going undamaged at 6F . This is a great smaller agave that looks a bit like a dark green yucca and works in well in the succulent garden or as a patio container specimen and reportedly tolerates hot desert sun and reflected heat. It is native to the rocky slopes from 1,500 to 4,500 feet in northeastern areas of the Mexican state of Sonora. 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 "ocahui" was the name was used by the indigenous Sonoran Desert population for "fiber" and "cordage" and called this plant by this name as the leaf fibers were used to make rope. Other common names include Ojahui and Amolillo and this later name a reference to the possible use of the saponin smilagenin in the leaves that was used to make soap (Amole is the common name of our native soap plant, Chlorogalum pomeridianum). Our original stock plants of this wonderful smaller agave came to us from Greg Starr of Starr Nursery in Tucson in 2009 but we were fortunate to get a larger quantity in 2019 from the Huntington Botanic Garden of their 2017 International Succulent Introduction ISI 2017-7. Agave ocahui Gentry that came from bulbils from their collection HBG 29785, which was a plant from a Howard Scott Gentry and John Weber collection in July, 1966 from Sierra Baviso of Sonora, Mexico.  The information about Agave ocahui displayed on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources we consider reliable. We will also relate those observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments we receive from others and welcome hearing from anyone who has additional information, particularly when they share cultural information that would aid others in growing it.