Agave delamateri

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Agave delamateri

Imperiled (NatureServe)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Agave
Species: A. delamateri
Binomial name
Agave delamateri
Hodgson & Slauson[1]

Agave delamateri is a species of plant in the agave subfamily, Agavoideae. It is known by the common names Tonto Basin agave and Rick's agave.[2] It is endemic to central Arizona in the United States.[3] It is generally found on gravelly soils in desert scrub and sometimes pinyon-juniper woodland, often near Mogollon or Salado archaeological sites.[4]

Agave delamateri is an acaulescent (trunkless) species forming rosettes up to 100 cm (40 inches) in diameter. Leaves are up to 70 cm (28 inches) long, with a waxy coat giving them a bluish-green appearance. Leaves are well-armed, with teeth along the margins and on the tip. The flowering stalk can be up to 6 m (20 feet) tall, with flowers cream-colored with a greenish tinge. [4]

This species is only known from a population of about 70[3] to 90 individuals[2] in Gila, Maricopa, and Yavapai Counties in Arizona.[3] These plants are all clones producing no fertile seed.[3] The mature plant reproduces by sprouting "pups" from its base. The oldest existing mature clones may be hundreds of years old and there is practically no variation between them. The clones may be descendents of a cultivated population bred by pre-Columbian peoples.[2]


  1. ^ Hodgson, W. C. and L. Slauson. (1995). Agave delamateri (Agavaceae) and its role in the subsistence patterns of Pre-Columbian cultures in Arizona.[permanent dead link] Haseltonia 3 130-40.
  2. ^ a b c Agave delamateri. Plant Abstracts. Arizona Game and Fish Department.
  3. ^ a b c d NatureServe. 2014. Agave delamateri. NatureServe Explorer. Accessed September 14, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Agave delamateri. Flora of North America v26, p460.