ISI 2017-7. Agave ocahui Gentry

This agave is distinctive for its spherical yucca-like rosettes of smooth, dark-green leaves with unarmed margins. When mature, the solitary rosettes are about 0.5 m in diameter and produce an impressive spicate inflorescence to 3 m covered with bright yellow flowers. Such an explosive flowering effort understandably exhausts nearly all of the stored reserves within the rosette. For species that don’t offset this can spell the end of a generation and the species must depend on seed to perpetuate. Fortunately, A. ocahui has a backup plan. When left long enough after flowering, bulbils eventually form near the tip of the old inflorescence. This only happens every couple of decades so our last offering of this species was ISI 98-24. The same collection HBG 29785 has obliged again. It was originally grown from seed collected by H. Scott Gentry and John Weber in July, 1966 in the Sierra Baviso of Sonora, Mexico. $7.

Photo © 2017 by John N. Trager. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 89 (3), May-June, 2017