Sharkskin Agave 'Sharkskin'

Agave nickelsiae x scabra

Family: Agavaceae (ah-gav-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Agave (a-GAH-vee) (Info)
Species: nickelsiae x scabra
Cultivar: Sharkskin
Synonym:Agave asperrima x ferdinandi-regis
Synonym:Agave ferdinandi-regis x scabra
Synonym:Agave asperrima x victoriae-reginae
Synonym:Agave scabra x victoriae-reginae


Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


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)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


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:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

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

From bulbils

This plant is monocarpic

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


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


Chandler Heights, Arizona

Kingman, Arizona

Mesa, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports)

Tucson, Arizona

Fresno, California

Hesperia, California

Mission Viejo, California

Pittsburg, California

Ramona, California

San Diego, California

Sherman Oaks, California

Weaverville, California

Easton, Maryland

Blue Diamond, Nevada

Mesilla Park, New Mexico

Austin, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 31, 2014, photojack53 from San Diego, CA wrote:

I just found an interesting source for this plant in the San Diego area. I found overgrown 1 gallon plants for $9.98 each and had several to choose from. The pots were crowded with offsets, so I chose one with 4 showing at the top, around the parent plant and three poking out through the drainage holes. When I carefully cut it out of the pot, it had 10 pups. Quite a litter!
I found this beauty at Moon Nursery right beside the I-15 freeway between Escondido and Fallbrook. The stout leaves really do have a texture like sharkskin, something I've never felt on any other plant of any type. I'm looking forward to adding this plant to my mother's Agave garden that I created for her in Fallbrook. I'll add some small pups to the trade section here.


On Mar 27, 2013, hampson from Kingman, AZ (Zone 8b) wrote:

Will this plant die after blooming?


On Feb 4, 2013, upshotphx from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

My favorite agave. Here in Phoenix, can benefit from a few hours of shade during summer. Otherwise a beautiful plant and a wonderful addition to any desert garden. It offsets about 2 per year and I plant them all around my yard.


On Jun 8, 2010, Joan2 from Lancaster, CA wrote:

I planted several shark skin agaves one gal size about 6 years ago. This spring 2 have bloom stocks. They have not quite completed but so far the bloom stocks are about 20 ft high. At about 15 ft flower cluster shoots about 6 in are starting every 6 in up the stock. They are still buds, I am awaiting to see how they will look. I have tried to find pictures of blooming shark skins on the net but only see under blooms-rarely.


On Jun 27, 2009, BajaBlue from Rancho Santa Rita, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Agave 'Sharkskin' (Sharkskin Agave) - This structural succulent plant grows to 3 feet tall with evenly spaced thick triangular dark gray-green leaves that have smooth margins and prominent sturdy
terminal spines. Plant suckers to produce colonies of this beautiful plant. Plant in full sun. Little irrigation required. The Shark Skin Agave came from the Huntington Botanic Garden and is a naturally occurring hybrid of the ferdinandi-regis form of Agave victoriae-reginae (these two plants, once considered separate species have more recently been synonymized) crossed with of subspecies of Agave scabra, a plant that now considered to be a subspecies of Agave asperrima. The common name Shark Skin was applied due to this plant's texture and color - some use this
common name as a cu... read more


On Aug 10, 2007, cactus_lover from FSD
Pakistan (Zone 10b) wrote:

Stemless rosettes with numerous grey-green to light green leaves.It is a Natural Hybrid


On Feb 17, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Popular hybrid with lots of ornamental appeal- has large, thick, very stiff leaves with a big terminal spine and the texture of shark skin (rough like sandpaper).

To question asked above about plant dying after blooming, yes (that is what monocarpic means).