Arizona Naturalists >>> Ponderosa Woodland Flora >>> Asparagaceae >>> Agave parryi

Parry Agave

Agave parryi

Flower buds about to open, Parry agave, Agave parryi, photo © by Mike Plagens

Observed in Reynold's Canyon, Sierra Ancha, Gila Co., Arizona, USA. 05 June 2010.

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FLOWERS: The flowers are borne on tall (3-5 m) branching stalks that pull water and nutrients from the basal leaves leaving them to yellow and whither. There are six similarly colored tepals (petals and sepals).
habitat of Agave parryi, photo © by Mike Plagens
LEAVES: Leaves are all set at ground level and are very stiff and sharp pointed. In addition the leaf margins have tough, recurved, and also sharp points. Leaves are grayish green in color.

SUCCULENT: The leaves and central stem store quantities of water and energy stored as starch/sugars. By the time flowering is finished and the main stem has died, one or more pups will have started from the underground stems. The cycle from pup to flowering is considerably less than a century.

RANGE: This is the most common agave growing within the elevation and moisture zones of ponderosa pines. Several additional similar agave species reach into the pinyon-junper woodland habitats.

ARMED. The leaves are tipped with a hardened spine making the long, stiff leaf look like a lethal dagger.

Asparagaceae -- Asparagas Family

More Information:

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Arizona Naturalist
Arizona's Ponderosa Woodlands
The Flora of Arizona's Ponderosa Woodlands


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 03 Oct. 2012