Center Stripe Agave, Thorn-Crested Agave
Agave univittata var. lophantha
a-GAH-vee yoo-nih-vy-TAH-tuh low-FAN-tha
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 says 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”.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
The Agave univittata survived the winter in the house in my bedroom and was very glad to get back outside for the summer.
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.
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.
The Agave univittata is now on the front porch. I don’t think it has really been getting enough sun…
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.