Fox tail agave

Agave attenuata

Description

Fox tail agave gets its name from the dramatic flower stalks produced by mature plants. Single plants will grow 3-5 ft. in size and produce many small plants around the base to form large clumping colonies. This agave is valued in many landscapes for its pale-bluish to yellow-green leaves that are soft, fleshy and without spines on the margins or tips. Most plants grow for many years before flowering and can develop 2-3 ft. tall trunks. Thousands of small yellow and cream colored flowers mature on 10-15 ft. long arching flower stalks. Flowering occurs among plants in late fall, winter and spring, and provides a dramatic floral display for 1-2 months; the flowering plant dies after it flowers, leaving behind a large group of younger plants.

Fox tail agave needs protection from harsh winter cold and grows best with low to very low amounts of supplemental water throughout summer. From a landscape perspective, Fox tail agave is a highly versatile accent and special interest plant. It grows well in containers, on banks and as a solitary specimen or grouped for mass effect. It can be combined with the Mediterranean and Southwestern plant palettes. Several attractive gray-blue foliage cultivars are available from different nurseries.

Plant Type: Agave
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Rigid, Clumping
Growth Rate: Moderate
Foliage Color: Pale green, Blue green, Olive green
Flower Color: Yellow
Flower Season: Insignificant
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Drought, All day sun, Partial sun
Function: Residential spaces, Raised planters, Near pools and water features, Hummingbird plant, Grouped, Container plant, Commercial spaces, Civic spaces, Borders, Banks, Background plant
Height: 3 ft. – 5 ft.
Width: 3 ft. – 5 ft.