These two species, both from Oaxaca, were described by Abisai Garcia-Mendoza in 2019. For more detailed information see my article in the
These two species, both from Oaxaca, were described by Abisai Garcia-Mendoza in 2019. For more detailed information see my article in the Cactus and Succulent Journal 93(3): 226-237 from Fall 2021.
Agave megalodonta is a very cool looking plant with exceptionally large and wicked teeth, hence the name. Mega is Greek for large and odon is Greek for tooth. I read the description shortly after it came out and was immediately intrigued by the plant, but due to COVID-19 issues, travel to Mexico was put on hold for a while. Finally, in October 2020 I was able to go to Oaxaca with the intention of getting to a couple of the localities for Agave megalodonta. There are four known localities that are widely separated, but plants are relatively common where the do occur. There may be populations in between the known localities and someday I would like to spend more time in the area exploring the surrounding hills. For now, I have pictures from two of the localities, one being the type, or the population from which the holotype was collected. Hope you enjoy the pictures.
The first time I saw the plants that would eventually become known as Agave quiotepecensis was during a trip to Oaxaca in November 2009 that was led by Oaxaca and Cycad expert Jeff Chemnick. At the time nobody knew exactly what to make of the plants. They were not Agave titanota nor were they Agave kerchovei or even the all-encompassing Agave ghiesbreghtii, but they were quite awesome. At one time Abisai Garcia-Mendoza identified them as Agave titanota, but he had never visited Rancho Tambor, the type locality for that species, nor had he seen it in any other locality, so that identification was suspect.
Subsequently, I have visited the area around Quiotepec, hiking back to see Echeveria laui and to the archaeological site across the river, and these awesome agaves occur in profusion at both spots. The first thing I noticed about the inflorescence on the plants was how deep the fertile section was relative to the overall flower stalk. That was a very striking and diagnostic characteristic. Garcia-Mendoza finally decided that these plants did not fit any other described species and provided them a new name, Agave quiotepecensis.
For more information and more pictures, check out my article in the Cactus and Succulent Journal 93(3): 226-237 from Fall 2021.