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Agave decipiens

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

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.

Availability: Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.

Description: Medium shrub with prickly leaves in a basal rosette on a short trunk.

Dimensions: 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.

Growth Rate: Slow.

Range: Endemic to southern peninsular Florida from the Monroe County Keys north along the coasts to Martin and Manatee counties.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Coastal hammocks and thickets.

Soils: Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: 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.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun to light shade.

Flower Color: Greenish-yellow.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy inflorescence; the flowers are fetid.

Flowering Season: Fall-winter.

Fruit: Inconspicuous capsule.

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.

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer 2021

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer 2021

Copyright by: Karolina Weclawska
cultivated plant in South Florida

Copyright by: Karolina Weclawska
cultivated plants in South Florida

Copyright by: Karolina Weclawska
cultivated plant in South Florida

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