Desert Agave

(Agave deserti)

A group of Desert Agave at Sunnylands Center and Gardens.

The Desert Agave is a medium-sized agave with upright, rigid leaves ending in a strong terminal spine at its tip. It can be found in the lower gardens south of the entry drive, or to the right of the drive if you are standing with your back to the Center.

A local desert native, it is planted throughout the gardens as part of the original landscape design. Gradually rising temperatures in the desert, along with a reduction of winter chills lasting long enough to keep pests at bay, resulted in the struggle of some plants in the first few years. After becoming established, the current Desert Agave specimens are doing well, with some having completed their bloom.

The inflorescence (flowering stalk) can reach up to 13 feet with bright yellow blooms, but this occurs at end of life usually between 15 and 20 years of age, and the plant will die shortly thereafter, leaving the next cross-pollinated generation to move forward.

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