Agave univittata-Center Stripe or Thorn-Crested Agave

Agave univittata on 7-19-16.

Center Stripe Agave, Thorn-Crested Agave

Agave univittata

a-GAH-vee yoo-nih-vy-TAH-tuh


Agave univittata var. lophantha

a-GAH-vee  yoo-nih-vy-TAH-tuh  low-FAN-tha

Agave lophantha

Synonyms of Agave univittata (20) (Updated on 12-27-20): Agave caerulescens Salm-Dyck ex Jacobi, Agave heteracantha Zucc., Agave heteracantha var. univittata (Haw.) A.Terracc., Agave heteracantha var. vittata (Regel) Regel, Agave lophantha Schiede ex Kunth, Agave lophantha var. angustifolia A.Berger, Agave lophantha var. brevifolia Jacobi, Agave lophantha f. caerulescens (Salm-Dyck ex Jacobi) Voss, Agave lophantha var. caerulescens (Salm-Dyck ex Jacobi) Jacobi, Agave lophantha var. gracilior Jacobi, Agave lophantha var. pallida A.Berger, Agave lophantha var. poselgeri A.Berger, Agave lophantha var. subcanescens Jacobi, Agave lophantha var. univittata (Haw.) Trel., Agave univittata var. angustifolia (A.Berger) Jacobson, Agave univittata var. brevifolia (Jacobi) Jacobson, Agave univittata var. caerulescens (Salm-Dyck ex Jacobi) H.Jacobsen, Agave univittata var. gracilior (Jacobi) Jacobson, Agave univittata var. heteracantha (Zucc.) Breitung, Agave univittata var. subcanescens (Jacobi) Jacobson

Agave univittata Haw. was named and described by Adrian Hardy Haworth in Philosophical Magazine, or Annals of Chemistry, Mathematics, Astronomy, Natural History and General Science in 1831.

Agave univittata var. lophantha (Schiede ex Kunth) Maire & Weiller is considered a synonym of Agave univittata Haw. It was named and described by René Charles Joseph Ernest Maire and Marc Weiller in 1959 or 1960. Both dates are given by different sources but it was published in 1960). It was first named and described as Agave lophantha by Christian Julius Wilhelm Schiede in Linnaea in 1829 but it wasn’t accepted. Then, in 1850, Karl (Carl) Sigismund Kunth described it again, citing Mr. Schiede’s description, in Enumeratio Plantarum Omnium Hucusque Cognitarum.

Before Agave univittata var. lophantha became a synonym, information said it was indistinguishable from Agave univittata. However, not all Agave univittata have a center stripe.

The species name, univittata, means “one stripe”. The species name, lophantha means “crested flower”.

The genus, Agave L., was described by Carl von Linnaeus in the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.

Plants of the World Online there are 277 accepted species of Agave (as of 12-26-20 when I am updating this page). Many species of other genera have been moved to the Agave genus, such as Manfreda. It is a member of the plant family Asparagaceae with 118 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made.


Agave univittata on 7-20-16, #276-1.

I bought this Agave in July 2016 from a local Amish Greenhouse, I think probably Mast’s. Even though I always say I am not going to buy plants without labels AGAIN, I always wind up doing just that. This Agave was one of them. I looked off and on for its ID but decided I better make a decision so I can make this page (on December 1, 2017).

I always start out looking at images online when I have no name and clicking on the photos that look similar. This time the first photo I saw that looked similar to my plant led me to a website by Stoney Creek Cacti & Gifts.  I scrolled down their Agave selection and found the one that looked like mine. It said the name is Agave lophantha splendida. Well, Agave lophantha is a synonym of Agave univittata.

It is so much easier to send photos to an “expert” to ID, but I always try and do it myself first.

Agave univittata on 5-31-17, #339-3.

The above photo is what it looked like after a winter in the house on May 31, 2017. It didn’t get enough sun and it looks like the leaves stretched. It really doesn’t even look like the same plant.

Agave univittata on 8-29-17, #369-3.

The leaves of this species grow to around 15” long and are thinner than most Agave. The leaves are rather flat with a thin white edge and white teeth. The needle on the tips of the leaves is brown.

Agave univittata on 9-5-17, #371-2.

Family: Asparagaceae (formerly Agavaceae)
Origin: Northeast Mexico and Texas.
Zones: 9a-10b (20°-35° F)
Size: 12-18″ tall x 1-2’ wide
Light: Sun to part shade
Soil: Well-drained

Agave univittata on 10-11-17, #382-3.

I have had no problems with this plant. Photos online show plants with longer leaves, so maybe they are supposed to look like this as they get older. This is a smaller Agave, growing no more than 12 to 18″ tall, so it is much more manageable than a few of the larger plants I have grown.

Agave univittata on 5-17-17, #443-6.


The Agave univittata survived the winter in the house in my bedroom and was very glad to get back outside for the summer.

Agave univittata on 7-12-18, #476-2.

On July 12 I decided the Agave univittata needed to be in a larger pot… I had moved the plant table from behind the shed to the front porch and the potting table to the back porch.

Agave univittata in its new pot on 7-12-18, #476-3.

I put it in a 9″ diameter x 6″ tall pot. Now its roots can spread out a little more. Smaller Agave are so much easier to work with than the larger growing species.

Agave univittata (Center Stripe Agave) on 7-29-18, #487-4.

The Agave univittata is now on the front porch. I don’t think it has really been getting enough sun…


Agave univittata (Center Stripe Agave) on 5-25-19, #576-4.

The Agave univittata made it through another winter and I decided to put it on the back porch for 2019. It will get full sun all day here and maybe it will do better and begin to look more like what an Agave univittata should look like.

Agave univittata (Center Stripe Agave) on 6-19-19, #592-1.

The Agave univittata is doing very well and enjoying the full sun on the back porch on 6-19-19.

Agave univittata on 10-11-19, #639-4.

I had to move the plants inside on October 11 because an “F” was in the forecast. I took one last photo of it before moving it inside for the winter.


Agave univittata (var. lophantha) at 13 tall x 27 1/2 wide on 10-15-20, #747-3.

I kept this plant in a sunny part on the front porch for the summer of 2020. It seemed to have a few sunburn issues on the back porch in 2019. It did well, as usual, and measured 13″ tall x 27 1/2″ wide when I brought the plants inside for the winter on October 15.

I will continue adding more photos as time goes by.

Even though Agave lophantha is a synonym, there are still many websites that use that name. Agave lophantha ‘Quadricolor’  is very popular.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.


2 comments on “Agave univittata-Center Stripe or Thorn-Crested Agave

  1. RL says:

    Hey there, I think you might actually have an Agave funkiana ‘Fatal Attraction’. I have a nearly-identical plant and was looking for the ID-yours was the first that came up as a match, but I wasn’t convinced by the univittata ID (they’re closely related, though!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello RL! t was a tough one for me to ID. The way it looked when I brought it home and the way it looks now is so different. I will check out. I will check out your suggestion. Take care and thanks for the comment!


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