Agave ocahui

This agave, which was used for its strong fibers, grows two to three feet tall and three feet wide. It has a dense rosette of dark green, narrow, yucca-like leaves. Its foliage is stiff and flat at the top with straight, smooth margins that are toothless and lined with a narrow reddish-brown border. The name ocahui is the Indian word for cord or fiber. When the leaves are crushed they can be used as a scouring brush. The plant has a sharp, terminal spine and does not produce offsets. This agave develops an impressive flower spike only once in its life at the end of its growing cycle. The stalk grows eight feet or taller with small, bright yellow blossoms. It prefers full sun with reflected heat, but tolerates shade. The plant is drought-resistant, requiring supplemental irrigation during the hot, dry weather. It does not like to be over-watered. This agave is easy to grow and is an incredibly tough plant that does not need much maintenance. The ocahui agave tolerates most soil types, including rocky conditions and is hardy to about fifteen degrees Fahrenheit. Use it in containers, in rock gardens, as a mass planting with boulders, or as a contrast when planted with other blue or gray colored plants. It also looks great when planted in tropical settings or with other low-water-use perennials. This agave is native to the rocky slopes of Sonora, Mexico from 1,500 to 4,500 feet.

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