Agave lophantha, a Thorncrest Century Plant, is native to the Gomez Farias area of Tamaulipus, Mexico. It lives with deciduous oak forests at an altitude of 900-1300 m. This is quite a diverse area, being a cloud forest one would not expect Agaves live there. The plants grow in rock crevices and are fairly abundant. Leaves are in basal rosettes up to 2 feet (60 cm) long and about 4.5 inches (11.5 cm) wide. The leaves are sword shape and rather thin. Plants will reach up to 4 feet (1.2 m) wide. They are very easy to grow. I would like to thank my friend Amy for obtaining seed for me.
Blooming: Our plant at 3 years old has yet to bloom. As with most Agaves the plants are monocarpic. Plants that bloom soon die, so the spectacle of flowering is a mixed blessing.
Culture: Agave lophantha need full sun to partial shade with a well drained soil mix. In fact, this plant grows better under 50% shade. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 1 part peat moss to 1 part loam to 2 part sand. We add about 1 cup of hydrated lime to each 0.01 cu. yard of soil mix to adjust the pH. We also add small pebbles to the mix to ensure good drainage. The plants are well watered and allowed to dry thoroughly. Since the plants are native to cloud forests they do better with regular misting. During the winter months, the temperatures in our cold greenhouse drop to 50°F (10° C). During this period we don't water very much, but the plants are still misted on a daily basis.
Propagation: Agave lophantha are propagated by the removal of offsets and from seed when available. Seed germinate in 30-60 days at 68°F (20°C).
Agave lophantha was featured as Plant of the Week December 14-20, 2007.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.