General Landscape Uses:
Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat resptorations. Also as an accent shrub in rock gardens and spiny barrier plantings along the coast.
Ecological Restoration Notes:
A somewhat rare element of coastal hammocks and thickets, especially along the edges.
Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.
Medium shrub with prickly leaves in a basal rosette on a short trunk.
Typically 4-8 feet in height; to 20 feet when in flower in South Florida. Usually taller than broad, but large plants may fall over and begin ascending again.
Endemic to southern peninsular Florida from the Monroe County Keys north along the coasts to Martin and Manatee counties.
Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.
Map of suggested ZIP codes north to Indian River and Manatee counties.
Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations north to Martin and Charlotte counties.
Coastal hammocks and thickets.
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with humusy top layer.
Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Moderate; tolerates brackish water or occasional inundation by salt water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Secondary line; tolerates significant salt wind without injury, but usually is somewhat protected.
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Full sun to light shade.
Semi-showy inflorescence; the flowers are fetid.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Possible larval host for cofaqui giant-skipper (Megathymus cofaqui) and Yucca giant-skipper (Megathymus yuccae).
Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seeds or basal offshoots.
References: Hammer 2004.
Comments: Similar to the invasive sisal hemp (Agave sisalana), but with a short trunk.