Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Center Stripe Agave, Thorn-crested Agave
Agave univittata

Family: Agavaceae (ah-gav-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Agave (a-GAH-vee) (Info)
Species: univittata (yoo-nih-vy-TAH-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Agave heteracantha
Synonym:Agave mezortillo
Synonym:Agave lophantha

12 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 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:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

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

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is monocarpic
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

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

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 21 photos.
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5 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive marasri On May 7, 2014, marasri from Dripping Springs, TX wrote:

I have both the thin leafed Texas variety and the fatter leafed one. The thin leafed one is a pupping fool and will create an area of solid swords in time. I get many flowers coming off my area of lophantha. The other fatter leafed variety is slower to establish, but will start pupping and create a solid area of rosettes in time not the compressed swords. I like the dark green of that variety and it will take parted shade and combines beautifully with my pink lavender thin leafed agave strata "live wires'. I hope I will not have to weed them ever. LOL.

Positive jpgreen On Feb 4, 2011, jpgreen from Roswell, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:

Has done well here below 0

Positive baiissatva On Feb 12, 2009, baiissatva from Dunedin
New Zealand wrote:

Zone 9b coastal Otago New Zealand
Is this lophantha or iophantha?? No one seems to know!
I recently acquired two small specimens and initially found them a little difficult to ID. They were sold to me as the Shin Dagger (lechuguilla) and though I am in love with that name my iophanthas are a bright forest green with a pronounced lemon yellow mid stripe and the outsides of the leaves are covered in little pale slashes, not the dark ones of the lechuguilla.

These are dangerously thorny little suckers so not child or pet friendly- keep them clear of paths etc. That said, they are mightily attractive with their bold stripyness and evil thorns, and unlike some of my other agaves they seem to have settled in quickly, rooting in nicely and handling the blazing mid summer sun without sulking or withering.

They are eye-catching right from pup stage, which is a big plus in my book, a good contrast to all the silvery blue types and their greeness makes them easy to fit into a general garden setting.

Not sure on the frost-hardiness yet, but Im picking it can withstand some, and maybe survive a good bit of hail without getting too pockmarked due to their tough fibrous structure.

Generally I have found that the more leathery and fibrous an agave's leaves are, the more frost they can take.
Your cat wont sit on it and that's always a bonus.

See some of our plants and gardenalia at The Blackthorn

Positive mikayak On Apr 20, 2007, mikayak from Severn, MD wrote:

It handled a VERY cold winter in Maryland (2006-2007) without damage. IT was well mulched and in vey well draining soil. But, I am very impressed with it's hardiness. Wouldn't want to fall on it though....

Neutral palmbob On Jun 14, 2006, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Though this is a pretty striking Agave, it is not one of my favorite, mostly because it suckers into one of the most intensely spiny, dangerous cluster of plants you can imagine. I grew this plant at my previous location and regretted it later on- nearly impossible to remove suckers and the spines can go through your boots. But grown in a pot, it is a wonderful looking species.

Positive Xenomorf On Sep 29, 2004, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Easily confused with Agave lechuguilla.
The differences are:
A. lophantha's leaves are wider in the middle.
Some A. lechuguilla have a stripe in the middle, though faint, but A. lophantha always has the brighter stripe on the average and sometimes faded.
The dried thorns are really close on both but different shape.
A. lophantha dosen't have the dark broken streaks on the outside of the leaf.


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

Chandler Heights, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Arroyo Grande, California
Clayton, California
El Dorado Hills, California
Fresno, California
Hesperia, California
Reseda, California
Lecanto, Florida
Loxahatchee, Florida
Miami, Florida
Tyrone, Georgia
Severn, Maryland
Roswell, New Mexico (2 reports)
Kure Beach, North Carolina
Austin, Texas
Dripping Springs, Texas
La Vernia, Texas
San Antonio, Texas

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