Agave Species, Candelabrum Agave, Squid Agave, Century Plant

Agave bracteosa

Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Agave (a-GAH-vee) (Info)
Species: bracteosa (brak-tee-OH-suh) (Info)


Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

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

This plant is monocarpic

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Chandler Heights, Arizona

Fountain Hills, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Queen Creek, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Bostonia, California

Chula Vista, California

Clayton, California

Hesperia, California

Norwalk, California

Reseda, California

San Leandro, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Miami, Florida

Mesilla Park, New Mexico

Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas(3 reports)

Dallas, Texas

Dripping Springs, Texas

Houston, Texas

Portland, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 28, 2017, marasri from Dripping Springs, TX wrote:

I adore this agave. I have three banks of them started. I am always pleading for pups from all my friends at the plant swap in San Antonio. I live on the top of a hill and because of being rainwater dependent for my needs, I can not irrigate and the soil is mostly always dry. This agave takes Texas style droughts, cold fronts that drop 65) in a day, cold and damp, ice storms, hurricanes, 16" of rain in a day. I do have it planted in good drainage on a slope and they don't mind my abysmal alkaline limey rubble. I lost one in a ice storm so I make sure their crowns are raised . They are relatively slow growing, But I do love what they are doing under my cedars. They have survived 13F here.... Maybe colder. I never ever protect them. I have too many of them to coddle , maybe 30, and I still... read more


On Aug 14, 2011, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I got mine in 2006 or so, as small plant, knowing nothing about it. I've found the hard way that it prefers partial shade over full sun, so I now keep it in my screened back porch, where it gets morning sun and late afternoon / early evening sun. It developed fungal problems from me putting it into a way-too-big plastic pot, but with only twice-monthly waterings, that has completely gone away. It has flourished... See my photo for proof. I just noticed several pups on it today for the first time; my plant is about 7 years old, I estimate. I had been wondering if it was the 'Calamar' variety, which supposedly grows solitarily, but I guess it's not. (Though the pups on mine are way out on the edge of the pot, not coming off of the main trunk, so maybe it is a 'Calamar'?) If you like t... read more


On Nov 6, 2010, steinbeck from Dallas, TX wrote:

I've had my squid agave for almost a year and it has a new offshoot already. It seems to be very tolerant of the heat in Dallas, does well if not watered for a week at a time even in the heat. It is beautiful and not unfriendly at the tips as many agave are. I hate to think the mother plant will die when it flowers (didn't know that till I read the info). At least I will have a new offshoot. Morning sun and afternoon shade is what I have been told by Redentas Gardens and it has been doing well with that. Love this web site.


On Feb 8, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant which is also known as the "octopus agave" and is native to Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
It is hardy from Zone 7b to 10. Being spineless and toothless, it is an exellent choice for growing in a container. Forming colonies by producing offsets in its native habitat, the 24 inch wide rosettes of bright-green leaves resemble a group of octopi laying amongst the rocks and boulders and hanging from cliffs. The 3 foot tall bloom spikes have numerous cream to yellow colored flowers. Being quite adaptable, it can thrive in sun or deep shade and is more moisture tolerant than most agave; but, the soil must be well drained.


On Jan 14, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is one of my favorite Agaves, being very attractive AND user-friendly. It looks a lot like an Aloe. But it is monocarpic, so once it flowers, that's it. There has been some controversy to whether this species is ALWAYs monocarpic, and I can't answer that... but in most of the colonies I have seen the plants with mature flowers always seem to be dying, and I have seen many dead with old flowers on them, so it appears to be at least 'mostly' monocarpic... if there is such a thing. There is another Agave known as the Octopus agave, showing the shortcomings of using common names in plants. This is a slow growing plant, very slowly offsetting and forming a large colony of plants. Variegated forms occur (but listed elsewhere in plant files).