Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Furcraea
Furcraea macdougalii

Family: Agavaceae (ah-gav-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Furcraea (fer-KREE-uh) (Info)
Species: macdougalii (mak-DOOG-uh-lee-eye) (Info)

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
This plant is monocarpic

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From bulbils

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By palmbob
Thumbnail #1 of Furcraea macdougalii by palmbob

By palmbob
Thumbnail #2 of Furcraea macdougalii by palmbob

By palmbob
Thumbnail #3 of Furcraea macdougalii by palmbob

By Jubilado
Thumbnail #4 of Furcraea macdougalii by Jubilado

By palmbob
Thumbnail #5 of Furcraea macdougalii by palmbob

By palmbob
Thumbnail #6 of Furcraea macdougalii by palmbob

By palmbob
Thumbnail #7 of Furcraea macdougalii by palmbob

There are a total of 36 photos.
Click here to view them all!


5 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive ccdx On Feb 21, 2015, ccdx from Long Beach, CA wrote:

I purchased Furcraea macdougalii in Sept 2010 as a curiosity at H & H Nursery in Lakewood CA for about $50 when landscaping my yard with a variety of succulents. The species was not labeled on the pot and it was approximately 3 feet tall at the time. Within 6 months it was hitting the roof of my house, so I moved it to give it some clearance.

It is now February 2015 and although it has not yet started to show woody trunk, I estimate the base to be about 18" in diameter and the spines about 7-8 feet long. The total height is now at least 12 feet tall.

I have seen a few references on the web about how great a container plant this makes! Ha! It is a really cool plant, just make sure you have a place to put it that would suitably fit a large palm tree, it is a monster. I've named it Kodos, it had a buddy Agave angustifolia planted at the same time named Kang. Kang bloomed spectacularly this year, dropping hundreds of pups from the flower. I paid my gardener to remove the massive thing. Kang II (the largest sucker) is now growing in it's place. I'll post photos.

PS - I have never watered either of these plants.

Positive camrichdesigns On Aug 22, 2014, camrichdesigns from Scottsdale, AZ wrote:

I have 7 of these plants in my landscape, originally purchased in one gallon containers. They are growing in full Sun and also in filtered Sunlight here in Scottsdale. After 4 years all of these Furcraea macdougalii, are doing well and seem to happy in all of the different locations around the yard. They are all about 5' tall and equally as wide, but so far none of the plants have developed a stem.

Positive wist On Feb 27, 2005, wist from Cardiff By The Sea, CA wrote:

I inherited my Furcraea macdougalli from a friend who was unsure what it was, other than it was from Mexico. The plant, actually plant(s) had been growing in a shallow bowl for years. The bowl contained 6 individual plants which appeared to resemble an agave with offsets. After stumbling onto a specimen at Rancho Soledad Nursery, I learned it's true name. I am assuming the 6 tightly grouped plants sprouted from a segment of the mother plant's flower stalk. Today I have two of the existing plants growing in my front yard in Encinitas, California. During the summer, the plant can exhibit desiccation where it's leaves begin to slightly prune. The symptoms first appear on the lower basal leaves.

Positive palmbob On Aug 19, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a relative of the Agaves, and I cannot find much written about this species. It is an impressive plant, though, and many local botanical gardens have one. I first discovered this plant at a nursery in Escondido California where they had a monster growing in the back lot... it had to have about 10' of trunk and 15'+ stiff, spiny leaves shooting out of it in all directions. It looked from a distance like some weird palm/ succulent cross. The nursery was selling small seedlings (in 20 gal pots!). So of course I got one. And it's been a great plant... has an upright growth of blue-green slightly forgiving and only mildly spiny leaves, the texture of a reptile- scaly-smooth. The only problem I've had with it is it's wimpy root system makes it prone to be pulled partially out of the ground if I walk by it too fast and let the spines grab my clothing. But now it's bigger and sturdier, and just starting to form a trunk (5 years after planting). A great curiosity item for the larger xeriscape garden.

Have a seedling in my yard in Los Angeles, and it has been growing well in a raised bed for the last two years. Had a significant freeze Jan 07 and discovered this plants limits- 27F for an extended period of time (5 hours in this case) damaged a lot of the leaves badly- ouch!

Positive palmbob On Jul 25, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

It indeed does form quite a large trunk (up to 15' in some areas) and looks like some incredible palm tree from a distance. The buds on the flower stalk are called bulbules, and that is one of the main differences between agaves and furcreas in terms of reproduction. Furcreas never seem to sucker, while most agaves do. But hundreds, if not thousands of little bulbules are released once this plant flowers (monocarpic).

Furcreas are great plants, but some have the same vicious spines as their cousins, the agaves, so should be planted away from traffic areas. These are one of may favorite of all the succulents.

Neutral BotanyBob On Jun 7, 2001, BotanyBob from Thousand Oaks, CA wrote:

This is one of the most outstanding Agave-like specimen succulents that can be grown in the warmer areas of the Southwest. It is a very upright, blue-green (with a silvery sheen) Agave-like plant. The leaves are long, thin and tapering to a soft point straight up in the air. The leaves also have scalloped edges with slightly sharp teeth. The backs of the leaves, which is what you touch if you brush up against it, have a soft, pebbly texture almost like plastic. It is one of the more user-friendly Agave-like plants.

Unlike most Agaves, this plant does not sucker (that I know of). It grows in an upright fashion to eventually develop a woody trunk and leaves that grow to some 15+ feet in length. From a distance it looks more like some massive, bizzare sort of Phoenix palm than a succulent. It truly is a giant among succulents.

Unfortunately, like most Agaves, it is monocarpic (dies once it flowers). However, the flowers turn into hundreds of little 'bulbules' which fall to earth hoping to root and start new plants.

I have no idea where in the world it originates. If anyone has more information on this species, it would be much appreciated.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Scottsdale, Arizona
Cardiff By The Sea, California
Encino, California
Long Beach, California
San Leandro, California
Spring Valley, California

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America