PlantFiles: Shark Skin Agave Agave ferdinandi-regis x scabra
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Hardiness: 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
Danger: Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling
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 cultivar name (which is
less of a mouthful than
Agave x ferdinandi-regis x scabra).
Another name that is sometimes applied
to this plant is Agave 'Ruth Bancroft'.
Although some of the plants in cultivation
may have been distributed by this very
fine botanic garden in Walnut Creek, CA,
this name is confusing and not supported
by Ruth Bancroft Garden Plant Curator
Brian Kemble. Plants from the Ruth
Bancroft Garden were supplied to a tissue
culture lab by Yucca Do nursery and some
are now calling the resulting plants
'Sharkskin Shoes' to differentiate them
from plants originating at the Huntington
Botanic Garden. plants grown originating
from both of these gardens side by side
and have found little if any differences
between these two plants once the plants
On Feb 17, 2004, palmbob from Tarzana, CA (Zone 9b) 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).
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Grenoble, Chandler Heights, Arizona Kingman, Arizona Mesa, Arizona Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports) Picture Rocks, Arizona Bay Point, California Fresno, California Hesperia, California Los Angeles, California Mission Viejo, California Ramona, California Weaverville, California Easton, Maryland Blue Diamond, Nevada Austin, Texas Spring Branch, Texas