Scientific: Agave geminiflora (also known as A. angustissima)
Common: no common name
Family: Asparagaceae (subfamily Agavoideae)
Origin: Nayarit, Mexico

Pronounciation: A-GA-ve ge-mi-ni-FLOR-a

Hardiness zones:
Sunset 12 (sometimes injured), 13-24
USDA 8 (sometimes injured), 9

Landscape Use: Elegant, strong fine textural accent for desert landscape plantings, either singly or in groups of 3 or more spaced at 4-5 feet on center. This small agave also makes a handsome container plant for use in large abode-style entry plantings. Overall, this agave is most effectively used when planted relatively close to human landscape traffic patterns so as to be seen "up close and personal".

Form & Character: Delicate, small and rounded, not aggressive or defensive, people friendly, classy.

Growth Habit: Herbaceous perennial, slowly basally rosetting to 2 feet height with 3 feet spread, often smaller, though in some instances will form stalk with age.

Foliage/texture: Rosettes of light green to gray green leaves, succulent and nearly linear, flexible yet sharply-tipped, some with filamentaceous margin; fine textured, though suddenly more coarse textured when blooming.

Flowers & fruits: Large terminal flower stalk to 8 to 12 feet after several years. Individual flowers yellow and tinged with red, fruit encapsulated.

Seasonal color: None

Temperature: Freeze sensitive, injured below 25oF. Chilling injury causes a reddening of the foliage in winter when night-temps fall below 40oF.

Light: Light filtered shade to full sun.

Soil: Any soil type, but thrives best if soils are well-drained

Watering: Semi-regular irrigations in summer keep this plant looking healthy. Irrigation in fall, winter, and spring is unnecessary.

Pruning: None

Propagation: Seed, bulbils that form on flower stalks, rarely produces basal offshoots.

Disease and pests: Root rot

Additional comments: This is a very classy, small agave that works well in small spaces and containers. It is very expensive to purchase because of its limited nursery availability (slow growth rate, difficulty to reproduce by seed, and limited bulbil formation). This agave species is also relatively short-lived. The name geminiflora comes from the Latin for "twin flowered", and refers to the fact the flowers are grouped two per bract, along the flower spike.

Here's the greatest A. geminiflora flower stalk fasciation of all time!!  (digital image captured by Heather Routen, ASU Urban horticulture student in January 2008)