Coastal Agave, Shaw's Agave

Agave shawii

Family: Agavaceae (ah-gav-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Agave (a-GAH-vee) (Info)
Species: shawii (SHAW-ee-eye) (Info)
Synonym:Agave orcuttiana
Synonym:Agave pachyacantha


Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


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)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


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

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Late Fall/Early Winter

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)

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

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:

Phoenix, Arizona

Encinitas, California

Huntington Beach, California

La Jolla, California

North Hollywood, California

San Diego, California

San Leandro, California

Panama City Beach, Florida

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 1, 2012, Baja_Costero from Baja California
Mexico (Zone 11) wrote:

A variable species. Endemic to Baja California, extending north into Southern California, where its numbers are more limited. The northern ssp. shawii is generally smaller and found in coastal areas with a mild, often foggy climate, while ssp. goldmanniana occurs further south and ranges inland (where it is hotter and drier). Similar-looking species found elsewhere include A. gentryi, A. montana, and A. salmiana.

Rainfall in NW BC (about 5-10" a year) occurs in fall through spring, mostly in winter. Summers are dry, but temperatures are limited to about 90F/32C in the maritime zone. Flowering generally starts in late fall and continues through the winter. The inflorescence of the northern form is about 2m tall, branched, and starts out covered in large purple or green brac... read more


On Nov 12, 2004, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Can withstand heat very well, may need a little extra water occasionally in the hotter, dryer desert areas.
Reaches about 3 feet, with a 15 to 40 foot flower stalk after a 15 year life.


On Feb 5, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Attractive bright green leaved plant that suckers profusely. Large terminal spine and many large, sometimes hooked lateral spines (careful!). A native of here (So Cal, and Baja California). It might be considered endangered. Very drought tolerant.