Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Manfreda, Rattlesnake Master, False Agave, American Aloe, Hauco, Amole
Manfreda virginica

Family: Agavaceae (ah-gav-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Manfreda (MAN-fred-ah) (Info)
Species: virginica (vir-JIN-ih-kuh) (Info)

Synonym:Agave virginica

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

10 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
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)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Green

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive sladeofsky On Jan 20, 2015, sladeofsky from Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

Siting this plant takes some planning. Not that it is fussy, but the foliage grows to only a few inches while the flower spikes shoot up to 5'. It can be used as a vertical accent near the front of the border. Although tall, it doesn't really block the view of plants behind it, especially wider and brightly colored ones. It is also perfect for the parity garden. The mature foliage is lax in wetter conditions and more erect in drier ones. The flowers are fragrant but almost inconspicuous. Mine self sows in my gravel paths, so if you try it from seed, I think a fine aggregate atop the medium should work best. I don't know of any hybrids but I am curious if it might be able to breed some hardiness into it's more tender cousins. I suspect it's hardy into zone 5 (at least) as it is not usual for a plant to be native to it's very extreme of hardiness. Furthermore, mine took one of our coldest Winters when temps hovered around zero (F) for months without any negative impact. Bees seem to appreciate it as well. The seed pods are reminiscent of Yucca, but smaller.

Positive alliumsenescens On Dec 31, 2009, alliumsenescens from Amesbury, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

Been growing a variant of this plant (var. tigrina I think ,with unusual red speckling at the base of each leaf) successfully on the border of zones 6a/5b for about 5 or 6 years now in southern New Hampshire, so I think the listed zone 7 may be an underestimate. Most of the other sources I've seen list it as a solid zone 5. Interesting "native" plant, adds an exotic touch for us northerners. Overall affect of the plant screams desert, although the succulent foliage is a bit deceptive. Not as drought tolerant as one would think. By the heat of mid-summer, if the soil is too dry, the leaves go limp by the end of the day, but plump back up again by morning. Suspect it likes more moisture than I've been providing. If the foliage alone isn't enough reason to grow this plant, the flowers are intoxicatingly fragrant. On a humid summer evening one or two of these plants will perfume your whole yard, though the individual greenish flowers are definitely not showy, but are certainly interesting on close inspection. While it may be difficult to place in a formal setting, overall it's a great plant, certainly worth a try.

Neutral htop On Feb 19, 2009, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant. American Aloe, Hauco, Amole (Manfreda virginica) is also commonly known as false aloe. It is native to Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Mexico (Nuevo Len, Tamaulipas). It is found in glades glades, sandy open woods and rocky open woods with alkaline soils in sun or part shade. The sessile, semi-succulent, glabrous, evergreen leaves appear in a basal rosette and have denticulate (finely toothed) margins. They are about 20cm long and 5cm wide and are usually folded lengthwise. Maroon to reddish spots near the base of the blades are often present. The plant produces a 4 to 5 foot tall (less frequently to 6 feet) flower stalk. The 3cm long (1.25 inches) yellow-green blooms have have no petals, have a white stigma with three lobes and have a sweet, fruity odor. They are seen in early summer through late summer (rarely in spring) and are followed by roundish seed capsules. Manfreda virginica's leaf shape and size vary with length of cold period, soil type, amount of shade as well as the position of leaf in the rosette. Pollination is primarily by sphinx moths. Used by Native Americans for several medical conditions such as dropsy, the roots are supposed to heal snake bites.

Positive berrygirl On Jul 5, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I have had this plant for about 3 years now and was never 100% sure of the ID. I had dug up a clump of it from my Mom's place, and she never knew the name either. I suspected it was a manfreda (had help here at DG) but wasn't positive 'til it bloomed this year. It's been in bloom for several weeks now. It had never bloomed before and when it did, the bloom gave it away. Maybe it has to mature before blooming? The tiny, whitish-yellow flowers atop the 4 ft tall stalks are insignificant to look at but have a POWERFUL fragrance! They smell especially good in the evening, reminiscent of tuberose. This plant is absolutely care free, drought tolerant, and hasn't been bothered by any pests that I am aware of. I dearly love it and am going to divide it in the Fall to make more. In my zoen it does esperience some die-back in Winter, but comes back from the roots each Spring.


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

Birmingham, Alabama
Phoenix, Arizona
Morrilton, Arkansas
Ramona, California
Braselton, Georgia
Cordele, Georgia
Fayetteville, Georgia
Louisville, Kentucky
Severn, Maryland
Dittmer, Missouri
Charlotte, North Carolina
Altoona, Pennsylvania

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