Agave schidigera is a medium-sized species, reaching about 1.5-2.5 feet tall by 2.5-3 feet across (45-75 cm by 75-90 cm), although the occasional plant can get larger if grown in a bit of shade or given copious quantities of water and/or fertilizer. The medium green to dark green leaves are bayonet shaped, but flex too much to actually be used as one. I fixed one to a long stick and tried jabbing a local javelina with one, but it just bent in half and the animal simply laughed it off. The leaves lack teeth along the edges, but have curly white fibers in their place, and the most decorative ones have noticeable white markings on both the top and bottom surfaces. The tall, spicate flower stalk is loaded with hundreds, perhaps thousands of 1.5 inch long (4 cm) flowers that are medium to deep red or even purplish.
Bernd Ullrich is of the opinion that this is a subspecies of Agave filifera, while I follow Dr. Gentry in this one and leave them separate species. For more pictures and links to literature, check out Martin and Julia’s entry for Agave filifera ssp. schidigera at agavaceae.com.
I hope you enjoy the following pictures and will visit the store to purchase your very own Agave schidigera.
Agave schidigera plants will grow in many situations. Sometimes they are found tucked in among rocks in large outcrops, sometimes growing out in open grasslands, or sometimes even under tall pine trees.
When grown from seed, these plants exhibit an amazing amount of variability in the marginal thread size and density and in the amount of white markings on the leaves.
Agave schidigera is a widespread species, ranging from as far north as Chihuahua, south through Sinaloa, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, Jalisco, and in to Guerrero and Michoacan.
Brian Kemble and I spotted the colorful plants pictured above on our way to a waterfall on the Rio El Salto in Zacatecas.
Agave schidigera does not produce any offsets so it makes a wonderful, solitary specimen that looks great in decorative containers or in a landscape where the temperatures are warm enough.
Whether you grow this one in a decorative pot or in your landscape, you need to have several to enjoy the wide range of variability offered by Agave schidigera.