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PlantFiles: Parry's Agave
Agave parryi

Family: Agavaceae (ah-gav-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Agave (a-GAH-vee) (Info)
Species: parryi (PAIR-ree-eye) (Info)

Synonym:Agave parryi var. parryi
Synonym:Agave patonii
Synonym:Agave chihuahuana
Synonym:Agave scabra
Synonym:Agave wislizeni

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

35 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
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:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

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

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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10 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Succubus14 On Mar 11, 2014, Succubus14 from Atlanta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Tough as nails, left outside on a west facing 5th floor balcony for ~ 12 hours during the January 2014 "polar vortex" (lows in the upper teens w/ some wind). Got nervous and brought it inside in the morning. ZERO damage.

Positive Sandwichkatexan On Dec 8, 2011, Sandwichkatexan from Copperas Cove, TX wrote:

Mine offset like crazy ! they filled in the two small beds they were in and they look amazing . I love my fat rapidly offsetting blue artichokes . And the best part I do nothing for them just leave them in the baking Texas sun all summer and they are happy campers .

Positive bmcdanel On Jan 20, 2011, bmcdanel from Lawton, OK wrote:

I have two of these, the first agaves in my experimental garden. It has proven very hardy, surviving everything that Oklahoma can throw at it without damage for four years now. It is a medium plant that fits nicely into a modest garden. I saw some of these blooming in Sunsites, Arizona, last year and look forward to the day that mine do the same. Then, I'll start them over from pups.

Positive baiissatva On Jul 28, 2009, baiissatva from Dunedin
New Zealand wrote:

Zone 9b coastal Otago New Zealand

An intensely beautiful little agave with some frustrating habits, at least in my experience. Comes in as many 'forms' as you can poke a stick at (I have four, the standard pale greenish, the scalloped-leaf one thats smaller, a steel-blue smaller variety and 'truncata', all pretty different) and they each seem to have slightly different properties.
The scalloped leaf version is small and sulky and difficult, even when pampered, stubbornly refusing to flourish, suffering sunburn, leaf tip die off, discolouration, large leaf blemishes etc despite being in a sheltered pot, and with it's achingly slow leaf turnover, always looks a sickly eyesore. Im *this far away from composting it.
The small steel blue version is a lovely, faster growing plant with slight more upright leaves, a slight bloom and sturdier genes. Resists everything thrown at it, including cold sogginess and shade, and always looks a happy little chappie, even pupping slowly for me. If you see this one, grab it, it's a great doer, no trouble and very attractive.
The truncata form is super-handsome, but SLOW like you would not believe to settle into a new situation and get those big silvery leaves growing and turning over. Mine was admittedly a puny invalid when it arrived but after patiently excising every iota of rotty old leaf and giving it maximum attention, only now, after two years, has it started deigning to grow instead of sulk. God only knows how long those beautiful specimens we see in the books have taken to get that fabulous.
I also have the 'regular' version which seems smaller, a little more sea-green and with a slightly different, less chunky leaf form than truncata. Got it from a great grower as a tidy young spec and it's never looked back, growing slowly but gratifyingly no matter what's thrown at it. Very attractive pot subject.
Will post pics of my different forms when it warms up.
Because they are so tough and fibrous and slow, it's possible to 'catch' base rot before it's too late. Uproot it and cut away the affected pieces, leave to dry out for a week, and then pot up (mounded) in a highly pumiced mix in dry half shade until new roots are well established. Ive saved a number of struggling parryi this way and theyve all come through the surgery. Dont leave those browning leaves hoping it will go away.
Given excellent drainage they seem to cope with winter water. Cold doesn't seem to be an issue to a healthy plant and Im not surprised to see the zone info people are posting here. Their tough stiff leaves resist hail damage well so they're good candidates for planting out in an exposed situation.
Very nice, just very slow.

Positive Xenomorf On Nov 30, 2006, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:


Positive treeguy15 On Feb 6, 2006, treeguy15 from trenton
Canada wrote:

This plant does very great in zone 5b no winter damege these agaves are very hardy. they took on a -13F or lower no protection.

Positive cmac1964 On Jun 29, 2005, cmac1964 from Waxahachie, TX wrote:

I live in Ellis Co., TX. Plant was here when we moved in a year ago. Started to grow stalk mid-May of this year. Stalk is about 8 ft. high. Blooms appeared from top to bottom, but has started to die off from bottom to top. Now has 2 new plants growing on either side at the bottom . Didn't know the name of plant until I found this site. Anyone know what happens to it now? And do I need to do anything special to promote the new growth?

Positive nevadagdn On Mar 31, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant takes a long time to settle in and look good. My 2" pot pup is finally looking good after 4 years. My 1-year-old one gallon plant still looks bad, but no worse than the pup did after its first winter.

Positive domehome On Jul 11, 2004, domehome from Arroyo Grande, CA wrote:

I've had this agave for over 10 years and it is a favorite in my garden. I have given away many of the pups and have seen them survive, even in zone 6. A very slow growing agave, parryi is a real beauty and worth the wait. Pups enough to share but not to much to control.

Positive palmbob On Feb 11, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Great looking highly ornamental Agave with somewhat wide, short pale blue leaves and a dark, sharp terminal spine and small, but very sharp lateral leaf spines. Suckers, but tends to be slow to sucker, so easy to keep control of. Some varieties, like truncata, hardly sucker at all. Very tolerant of drought and just about anything you can do to it. Old plants are highly prized and make great landscaping items, as well as excellent potted plants. Likes full sun, but will tolerate shade.

Seems to be a variable species with several described varieties. And even those seem to have a wide variety of forms within them. Some have narrow leaves, some less blue than others (A pattonii 'variety' decided greener), some have slightly hooked spines, some have big teeth, some small... And probably some that I see listed as this could be something else. Some varieties of this species are more popular than others since they are either variegated or have very wide, ornamental leaves. However, the 'reg' form is still quite attractive and makes a good landscape specimen.


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

Chandler Heights, Arizona
Fountain Hills, Arizona
Green Valley, Arizona
Jerome, Arizona
Maricopa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Prescott, Arizona
Queen Creek, Arizona
Sedona, Arizona
August, California
Bostonia, California
Chowchilla, California
Hayward, California
Nevada City, California
Norwalk, California
San Diego, California
San Marino, California
Spring Valley, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Yorba Linda, California
Boulder, Colorado
Grand Junction, Colorado
Pueblo, Colorado
Miami, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Augusta, Georgia
Boise, Idaho
Chicago, Illinois
Henderson, Nevada
Sparks, Nevada
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Cincinnati, Ohio
Lawton, Oklahoma
Union, South Carolina
Austin, Texas
Bryan, Texas
Copperas Cove, Texas
Friendswood, Texas
Kerrville, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Waxahachie, Texas
Lindon, Utah
Seattle, Washington

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