Scientific: Agave havardiana
Common: Harvard's century plant
Family: Asparagaceae (subfamily Agavoideae)
Origin: Open higher elevation upper grasslands of west Texas into the mountainous Big Bend region of south Texas into Mexico's Chihuahuan Desert

Pronounciation: A-GA-ve ha-var-dee-A-na

Hardiness zones
USDA 6-11

Landscape Use: Strong blue-gray accent, focal point for desert gardens; oasis and xeric landscape design themes. Great for use around desert and oasis ramadas and patios, even in large tub containers.

Form & Character: Broadly spreading, wide, exposed, stiff and pointed, imposing.

Growth Habit: Solitary (non-offsetting) with a hemispherical rosette reaching anywhere from 2 to 4 feet tall by 3 to 5 feet across; eventual size much influenced by available water.

Foliage/texture: Broad bluish gray leaves are presented in a regular rosette pattern, somewhat reflexed, strap-shaped, succulent, grayish to 4 feet long. Leaves are coarsely serrate and taper to a distinct sharp and dangerous grayish-black spiny tip; very coarse texture.

Flowers & fruits: Tall, aborescent flower stalks bearing orange yellow flowers.

Seasonal color: None except when flowering.

Temperature: Tough, very cold hardy to 5oF, some heat tolerance also.

Light: Full sun in higher elevations of Arizona (Prescott and Payson), but will need some protection from western sun in lower desert locations such as Phoenix.

Soil: Well-drained best

Watering: Apply only occasional water once established. It readily responds to water by increasing growth and eventual size.

Pruning: None

Propagation: Seed, offshoots

Disease and pests: None

Additional comments: Harvard agave is a striking and imposing medium-sized agave that lives generally for for 20 to 30 years. The blue gray color accent of its foliage is striking when juxapositioned to nearby landscape greenery. Its identification can be confusing as it is similar in appearance to Agave parryi.