Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: 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

7 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

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:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
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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By palmbob
Thumbnail #1 of Agave shawii by palmbob

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #2 of Agave shawii by Xenomorf

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #3 of Agave shawii by Xenomorf

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #4 of Agave shawii by Xenomorf

By palmbob
Thumbnail #5 of Agave shawii by palmbob

By palmbob
Thumbnail #6 of Agave shawii by palmbob

By ScottBB
Thumbnail #7 of Agave shawii by ScottBB

There are a total of 40 photos.
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3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Baja_Costero 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 bracts. The flowers are bright yellow. Plants die after they flower but frequently offset and thus can survive for a long time as a clonal colony.

In cultivation this plant is fast-growing (1-2 years to gallon size) and quite tolerant of extended drought when established. Allow plenty of extra space in the garden as many (not all) plants offset profusely when they are prospering, giving rise to a very attractive, fiercely armed clump over time.

Positive Xenomorf 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.

Positive palmbob 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.


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

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