Century Plant

Agave gypsophila

Family: Agavaceae (ah-gav-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Agave (a-GAH-vee) (Info)
Species: gypsophila (jip-SOF-il-uh) (Info)


Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 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:

Sun to Partial Shade


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

Bloom Color:

Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bloom Time:

Mid Winter


Grown for foliage



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

From bulbils

This plant is monocarpic

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


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

Chandler, Arizona

Chandler Heights, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Bostonia, California

Hayward, California

Reseda, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Vista, California

Loxahatchee, Florida

Miami, Florida

Panama City, Florida

Cincinnati, Ohio

Austin, Texas

Houston, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 23, 2009, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

When you see it at a nursery it stands out in it's container. And maybe that's where they do best for show.Because,once you plant them with other Agave's or typical dry garden plants they tend to blend in. Might take some creativity with rock or plant arrangement to make them more noticeable.
They are tender. Better in z10 gardens as near freezing temps stress the leaves. Below freezing would do real damage and it might take quite a while for this slow growing plant to look good again.
On the other hand,they might not like hot desert like heat or days of 100+ either. An Agave best for mild climates.


On Sep 1, 2008, CactusJordi from El Cajon, CA wrote:

My plant first set a lot of flowers and seed-pods with thousands of seeds eventually. Later it also grew bulbils, but mainly in the lower part of the stalk.
24F does them severe leaf damage already.



On Mar 6, 2006, thistlesifter from Vista, CA wrote:

This plant is frost tender and should be protected when overnite temperatures drop under 30 degrees F. I keep the plant on the south facing wall near the house.

Frost disfigures the plant, although it may survive in much lower temperatures.


On Oct 30, 2005, henryr10 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

Like most agave it's a very good container plant.
Because of the spine structure, one of the safest too.


On Oct 18, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Don't know much about this species, but it's one of the more attractive and user-friendly agaves, having few sharp spines and nice, wavy turquoise leaves. The spines are unique in that they are same thickness and material as leaves themselves, not projections from them of a different quality. It's almost like the leaves were cut along the edges with pinking shears. It's pretty slow growing and seems to like water more than most Agaves.

In the wild in Mexico, most plants are solitary. Unfortunately, the suckering ones are the forms most propagated and sold, obviously, as they are the easy ones to make more of. So most plants in captivity are prolific offsetters, despite that being a rare characteristic of this agave in the wild.