Agave, Century Plant, Maguey 'Cream Spike'

Agave applanata

Family: Agavaceae (ah-gav-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Agave (a-GAH-vee) (Info)
Species: applanata (ap-plan-AY-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Cream Spike
Additional cultivar information:(aka Variegata)
Synonym:Agave cinerascens


Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


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

Bloom Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us


Grown for foliage




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

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 has been said to grow in the following regions:


Green Valley, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Altadena, California

Bear Valley Springs, California

Glen Avon, California

Long Beach, California

Reseda, California

San Leandro, California

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 23, 2014, Baja_Costero from Baja California,
Mexico (Zone 11) wrote:

A dimorphic plant. The dwarf juvenile form is flat like in most of the pictures. (This shape is where the name "applanata" comes from.) After many years this agave becomes a medium-sized, erect and well-armed adult.

Longer, greener leaves (particularly in the juvenile form) are a sign of low light. This agave enjoys day-long sun as an adult in our cool coastal climate. It offsets profusely as a juvenile (thus the number of very young plants out there).

To get this plant up to landscape size, remove offsets as soon as they appear, provide strong light, and do not allow pot size to limit growth.


On Nov 18, 2014, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

For many years this plant was assumed to be a dwarf form of Agave parryi aka pattonii, but that was incorrect. It is simply a variegated form of Agave applanata, which seemed odd to many collectors, as A applanata is ultimately an enormous plant, and these are always sold as miniature plants.

So then the misconception that it was a dwarf species persisted for many years as in its juvenile form the variegated plants remained very small for many years and grew at a fraction of the rate of the non-variegated forms... but with time these, too, end up being rather large plants, though it seems about only half the size of the non-variegated Agave applanatas. Someone recently asked me to delete the name 'Dwarf' from this plant's name, though I am not the person that named this ... read more