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Ivory-spined Agave (Agave utahensis var. eborispina)
Yuccas Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Ivory-spined Agave (Agave utahensis var. eborispina)

Ivory-spined Agave (Agave utahensis var. eborispina) is a succulent perennial with short, stout, upright, blue-green leaves that arise from a basal rosette and are well guarded on the edges and tips with spines. In the spring, some plants in a population send up a tall flower stalk that bears many yellow flowers. After a plant blooms, it dies.

Ivory-spined Agave are identified primarily by the very long apical spines, the long marginal spines, and the (usually) ivory-white colored apical spine.

Ivory-spined Agave is a locally common species of rocky areas in the Mojave Desert in the Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub and Pinyon-Juniper Woodland) life zone. This variety is endemic to Nevada; look for it on the Desert National Wildlife Range and mountain ranges to the west on the Nevada Test Site.

Ivory-spined Agave (Agave utahensis var. eborispina)

Family: Agave (Agavaceae).

Other Names: century plant.

Plant Form: basal rosette with tall flowering stalk.

Height: Basal leaves to about knee-high, but flowering stalk 6-12 feet.

 

Ivory-spined Agave (Agave utahensis var. eborispina)

Trunk: none.

Leaves: Long daggers with spines along the edges and a sharp tip.

Flowers: Blooms in the spring or early summer. Inflorescence a spike. Flowers large, yellowish, and waxy.

Ivory-spined Agave (Agave utahensis var. eborispina)

Seeds:

Elevation: About 3,000 to 6,000 ft.

Distribution: Southern Nevada

Comments: Judging from the number of agave roasting pits around the desert, these must have been more common at one time.

Ivory-spined Agave (Agave utahensis var. eborispina)
Note the very long marginal spines
Ivory-spined Agave (Agave utahensis var. eborispina)
"Ivory-spined agave" sometimes have brown spines
Ivory-spined Agave (Agave utahensis var. eborispina)
Typical form: basal rosette of spined succulent leaves
Ivory-spined Agave (Agave utahensis var. eborispina)
In a clump of plants, one may flower and die, leaving the rest alive
Ivory-spined Agave (Agave utahensis var. eborispina)
Just a pup!
more to come ...

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
copyright; Last updated 151102

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