WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 
 

This dominant, indicator plant of the Chihuahua Desert suckers to form dense colonies with 8–12-inch tall clumps. The sword-like leaf blades, lined with vicious teeth and tipped with a rigid spine, have scared the legs of many a desert traveler. The plant’s uses date back 8,000 years and continue today. Leaf fibers produce cordage and extracts are used in food, soap, and medicine.


FLOWERS: May–June, occasionally anytime. After 10–20 years, the mature rosette sends up a 6–12-foot tall flower stalk (scape) with a spike-like panicle (not branching) with flowers on the upper half; flowers yellow tinged with red, tubular, 1 1/4–1 5/8-inches long (3–4.5) cm. The nectar attracts hummingbirds, wasps, bees, butterflies, and beetles. Reproduction is mostly by vegetative by offshoots.


LEAVES: Dense rosette of 20–50 erect, stiff, fleshy leaves with narrow, tapering, channeled blades 8–20-inches long (20–50 cm) long by 3/4–1 5/8-inches wide (2–4 cm); surfaces bright green, margins lined with sharp, downward-pointing teeth, tip with a rigid spine 1/2–1 3/4-inches long (1.2–4.5 cm).


HABITAT: Rocky, limestone soils; desert grasslands and scrub.


ELEVATION: 3,000–4,900 feet.


RANGE: NM, TX.


SIMILAR SPECIES: The rosette of narrow, stout leaf blades armed with rigid teeth and the tall, unbranched flowering stalk distinguish this species from other Agaves and Yuccas in NM.


NM COUNTIES: Extreme southern NM in low-elevation, arid, habitats.

LECHUGILLA

AGAVE  LECHUGUILLA

Agave Family, Agavaceae

Perennial succulent

THE CONTENTS OF THIS WEBSITE ARE COPYRIGHTED AND CANNOT BE USED

WITHOUT PERMISSION OF GEORGE OXFORD MILLER

HOME          SCIENTIFIC NAME          FAMILY NAME           SEARCH YELLOW          SEARCH RED          SEARCH BLUE


SEARCH WHITE         SEARCH CACTI         SEARCH LEAFLESS         GLOSSARY

EMAIL ME