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Clark Mountain Agave
Agave utahensis

About Clark Mountain Agave (Agave utahensis) Agave utahensis is a species of agave known by the common name Utah agave. There are two recognized varieties in California, both of which are rare. 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. It is found in the high desert mountains of Inyo and San Bernardino Counties. This is a rosette-shaped agave having blue-green sharp-spiked leaves. The raceme flower cluster is very tall, reaching a maximum of four meters. It is generally yellow or yellow-green with bulbous yellow flowers. The fruits are capsules 1 to 3 centimeters long and containing black seed. The plant was used for food and fiber by local Native American peoples such as the Havasupai.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Shrub, Succulent

Max. Height
1 - 1.5 ft (0.3 - 0.46 m)

Max. Width
1.5 ft (0.5 m)


Growth Rate
Slow, Moderate


Flower Color
Yellow, Green

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Rocky desert places

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
3094' - 7338'

Annual Precip. ?
5.8" - 13.4"

Summer Precip. ?
1.34" - 3.28"

Coldest Month ?
39.4° F - 51.5° F

Hottest Month ?
61.2° F - 77.8° F

Humidity ?
4.93 vpd - 30.53 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers sandy, gravelly or rocky soil


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

Sunset Zones ?
3, 7, 8, 9, 10*, 11*, 12*, 13, 14, 18*, 19, 20, 21

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

Seldom Used

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


Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Common uses
Deer Resistant, Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Sometimes Available

Other Names
Common Names
Utah Agave

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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