Shin Dagger, Lechuguilla

Agave lechuguilla

Family: Agavaceae (ah-gav-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Agave (a-GAH-vee) (Info)
Species: lechuguilla
Synonym:Agave poselgeri
Synonym:Agave multilineata
Synonym:Agave lophantha var. tamaulipasana
Synonym:Agave lophantha var. subcanescens
Synonym:Agave lophantha var. poselgeri


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


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


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

Bloom Color:


Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring


Grown for foliage


Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

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

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

This plant is monocarpic

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Mesa, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

San Leandro, California

Miami, Florida

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Fairacres, New Mexico

Mesilla Park, New Mexico

Roswell, New Mexico

Cincinnati, Ohio

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

San Antonio, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 30, 2005, henryr10 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

Well this may seem a strange positive but...I bumped into one of these in CA.
Got a nice puncture wound in my thigh.
Be careful around this one! lol

They do though grow well in Containers and are very impressive at maturity.


On Feb 2, 2005, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Sometimes confused with Agave lophantha.
A. lophantha's leaves are wider and flatter in the middle.
Some A. lechuguilla's have a stripe in the middle mostly on younger offsets, though faint, but A. lophantha always has the brighter stripe on the average and sometimes faded. The marginal leaf thorns are really close on both but different shape. A. lophantha dosen't have the dark broken streaks on the outside of the leaf like A. lechuguilla always has, though they fade as the plant ages.

Additional synyonyms:
Agave caerulescens
Agave lophantha var. angustifolia
Agave lophantha var. brevifolia
Agave lophantha var. caerulescens
Agave lophantha var. gracilior
Agave lophantha var. pallida
Agave univittata var. ... read more


On Jan 31, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

A tall, narrow cluster of flowers growing from a basal rosette of erect, rigid, sharply pointed leaves. These leaves are 12" to 20" long and about 1" wide. They are pointed and very formidible. It was a dangerous obsticle to early explorers. The sharp leaves cut the horses' legs and any rider who fell into a clump could be impaled. Today, the small leaves of this plant can puncture the tires of off road vehicles.

Native Americans obtained fibers from the leaves and wove baskets and twisted it into a rope like substance.


On Feb 22, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This vicious looking spiny plant has long, stiff, nearly round, spike-like, simple leaves ending in a very sharp, large spine. It is a nasty looking plant and quickly suckers to make a nasty looking hedge. Quite cold hardy and can survive in a wide range of conditions. It has been used in Mexico as a source of soap and very strong fiber called istle. Poisonous to cattle (not sure why). Frequently used in crosses with othe agaves.