Agave Species, Whale's Tongue Agave, Century Plant, Maguey

Agave ovatifolia

Family: Agavaceae (ah-gav-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Agave (a-GAH-vee) (Info)
Species: ovatifolia (oh-vay-tih-FOH-lee-a) (Info)
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Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


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)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


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

Bloom Color:

Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

Chino Valley, Arizona

Cottonwood, Arizona

Green Valley, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Acton, California

Bostonia, California

Spring Valley, California

Miami, Florida

Trout, Louisiana

Pahrump, Nevada

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Roswell, New Mexico

Yonkers, New York

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Emerald Isle, North Carolina

Redmond, Oregon

Prosperity, South Carolina

Morristown, Tennessee

Copperas Cove, Texas

Dripping Springs, Texas

Hempstead, Texas

Seattle, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On May 14, 2017, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

This might be the most in demand Agave there is. Not rarest,but they are very popular.


On Mar 23, 2016, Lodewijkp from Zwolle,
Netherlands (Zone 7a) wrote:

Ordered some seeds of these. In my opinion one of the most beautiful agaves, it has a smooth look with a pleasing blue / greyish cast on their leaves.

I have read reports on forum where many people claimed it to be very winter hardy to at least zone 7A, 6B. I have read a report from germany (zone 6B, 7A with humid winters ) where someone had been growing it for many years.

Only downside is that it's a non-suckering species, some people claim that it will make offsets if you prune or damage it badly but i wouldn't risk it.


On Oct 2, 2014, marasri from Dripping Springs, TX wrote:

I have 5 foot plants planted in Part shade on a limestone hill that have been unwatered since the first year except during the big drought. I think I gave it one drink during that time. It has withstood all our freezes, even the cold and wet freezes without a hint of athracnose, or however you spell it. Today I am planting 6 more to get a drift of them in my cedars. I will be experimenting with one in light shade under some thirsty mountain ash junipers. Composition demands it there or so my husband says.


On Dec 23, 2013, billyvanbakker from Yonkers, NY wrote:

Grows beautiful in my zone 6b-7 New York garden. Planted in pure gravel. 4 in ground 2 in pots.


On Aug 17, 2012, o_lucky_1 from Morristown, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

I've had this agave growing outside for years. It is a beautiful plant. It is hardy here in my 6b, recently changed to 7a zone. It is now over 2' x 2'. I don't know if it's necessary but every October I cover my agaves with a clear plastic shower curtain to keep them dry all winter and uncover them usually in March.


On Nov 22, 2004, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Great looking plant. Newly named agave as of Nov 2002.
It was known as Agave noah (unofficially) a hundred years ago.