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Agave utahensis var. nevadensis
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Nevada Agave
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Agave utahensis var. nevadensis

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About Nevada Agave (Agave utahensis var. nevadensis) Nevada Agave (Agave utahensis var. nevadensis) is a rare native perennial herb or shrub in the Agavaceae family. It is one of two recognized varieties of Agave utahensis, both of which are rare. Var. nevadensis is restricted to the desert mountains of eastern San Bernardino County at elevations from 3,000-5,200 feet. Due to its limited distribution, it is included on CNPS list 4.2. Agave utahensis is smaller, occurs farther north, at higher elevations, and is more cold tolerant than the other two native agaves in California. Like other agaves, it is armed with formidable spines and flowers after many years of growth, then the plant dies but clonal pups remain. The inflorescence is 5-13 ft. tall. The flowers are yellow-green and the fruit is a dry capsule.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Shrub, Perennial herb, Succulent

Max. Height
1.5 ft (0.46 m)

Max. Width
1.5 ft (0.5 m)

Growth Rate


Grey-green, fleshy, succulent, with a terminal spine and marginal teeth

Flower Color
Green, Yellow

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Native Status
Natural Setting
Site Type
Limestone ridges and outcrops in the Mojave desert


Elevation ?
3521' - 7338'

Annual Precip. ?
7.1" - 13.4"

Summer Precip. ?
1.82" - 3.22"

Coldest Month ?
39.5° F - 51.2° F

Hottest Month ?
61.2° F - 74.7° F

Humidity ?
4.93 vpd - 27.66 vpd

Soil Description
Sandy, gravelly limestone

Soil PH
7.0 - 8.0


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to -10° F

Companion Plants
Use with other Mojave Desert species such as Bigberry Manzanita (Arctostaphylos glauca), Big Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), Fremont Barberry (Berberis fremontii), Desert Ceanothus (Ceanothus greggii), Desert Willow (Chilpsis linearis), Buckwheat (Eriogonum sp.), Apache Plume (Fallugia paradoxa), California Juniper (Juniperus californica), Bladderpod (Peritoma arborea), Antelope Brush (Purshia stansburyana or tridentata), Sage (Salvia dorrii or mohavensis), Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis), Banana Yucca (Yucca baccata), and various cactus species.

Wildlife Attracted
Agave utahensis is host plant to the Mojave Giant-Skipper butterfly

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low, Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Rarely Used

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
No Summer Water
Keep moist


Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Common uses
Deer Resistant

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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