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Scientific: Agave lophantha
Common: thorn crest agave, thorn crest century plant
Family: Asparagaceae (subfamily Agavoideae)
Origin: Chihuahuan Desert, south Texas into Chihuahua

Pronounciation: A-GA-ve lo-FAN-tha

Hardiness zones
USDA 8-11

Landscape Use: Strong accent, focal point, barrier plant for partially shaded to sunny sites in large desert gardens and xeric landscape design themes.

Form & Character: Imposing, rigid, erect, stout, imposing, unique combination of 'green' and arid.

Growth Habit: Evergreen, succulent and fibrous perennial, monocarpic, slow rowth rate to 2- to 5-feet tall with equal spread, quite variable in final size, robustly clumping forming multiple basal offshoots (called 'ramets' or 'chupones').

Foliage/Texture: Flattened, strap-shaped succulent green leaves, sometimes curved or reflexed, margins toothed but not horny, foliage tapering to a deadly terminal spine, 5-feet long and 10-inches wide, leaves in a rosette pattern; very coarse texture.

A special warning: Like other agaves, thorn crest agave leaf tips are dangerously rigid and sharp and can cause injury to humans and inflatible sports balls.

Flowers & Fruits: Thorn crest agave has greenish-yellow flowers on a long stalk. They develop on a 12-feet stalk during late spring or early summer of the year that it finally flowers.

Seasonal Color: None (unless your favorite color is green).

Temperature: No temperature issues in Phoenix. Heat tolerant, and very cold tolerant to 10oF.

Light: Partial to full shade, avoid western summer sun and western exposures in Phoenix.

Soil: Well-drained soils are best.

Watering: None once established, especially during winter and if growing in the shade.

Pruning: Some for safety reasons may consider pruning off the pointed and stiff 'dagger-like' leaf apexes.

Propagation: Seed and division of basal off shoots.

Disease and Pests: Root rot if soil is wet.

Additional comments: In Phoenix, thorn crest century plant is a striking and out of the ordinary 'green' agave for medium to large spaces that offer some protection from the intense western summer sun.