Scientific Name: Agave palmeri
Common Names: Palmer's Century Plant, Palmer's Agave
Duration: Perennial, Evergreen
Growth Habit: Shrub, Subshrub, Herb/Forb, Unusual Shrub
Arizona Native Status: Native
Flower Color: Light green, Yellowish, Pink
Flowering Season: Summer
Height: Leaves to 3 1/2 feet (1.1 m) tall, flower stalks to 20 feet (6.1 m) tall
Description: The 6-segmented flowers are clustered atop towering flower stalks and have yellowish or reddish anther filaments and the scent of overripe fruit. The plants die after flowering and setting seed. The leaves are in usually solitary, non-suckering basal rosettes and are glaucous bluish to greenish gray in color, lanceolate, edged with reddish, recurved, spine-like teeth, and tipped with a long, stout, dangerously sharp spine. Stabs with Agave leaves can be quite painful and bloody.
The nectar-filled flowers attract nectar-loving birds like Orioles (Icterus spp.) during the day and nectarivorous bats like the threatened Mexican Long-tongued Bat (Choeronycteris mexicana) and the endangered Lesser Long-nosed Bat (Leptonycteris curasoae yerbabuenae) during the night.
Butterfly Plant – The flowers attract large Sphinx Moths (Family Sphingidae) during both the day and night.
Hummingbird Flower – The flowers attract hummingbirds.
Legal Status – Protected Native Plant (Salvage Restricted)
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Family: Agavaceae – Century-plant family
Genus: Agave L. – agave
Species: Agave palmeri Engelm. – Palmer's century plant
More About This Plant
Arizona County Distribution Map
Palmer's Agave or Palmer's Century Plant (Agave palmeri)