Exposure: Sun / Shade
Height and Spread: 1’ x 5’ (when not in flower)
Blooming Season: April – August
Flower Color: Maroon
Region: All parts of the Greater Albuquerque region except the East Mountains
A succulent evergreen with spiny yellow-green rosettes of foliage, the Lechugilla is a dangerously striking specimen. Its rugged beauty is reminiscent of the landscapes where it grows naturally – the plains and mountains of the Chihuahuan Desert, including parts of western Texas and southern New Mexico. Select the Lechuguilla for its low water requirement, dramatic production of an outlandishly tall flower stalk, and value for bees and butterflies.
Locate the Lechuguilla with caution – plant only in an area where the sharp spines pose little risk to yourself or passersby. This plant is best appreciated from afar. An ideal location is in front of a south-facing wall, where its form can be appreciated. After producing the flower, the entire plant will die. However, since the Lechuguilla suckers, small offshoots will grow up in its place.
Paired with soft, complementary companions such as the Chocolate Flower, Lechuguilla provides an enduring architectural presence in the dry garden. It has a long history of use in soaps and textiles in the Chihuahuan Desert. Unique among agaves for its relatively small size, it is an excellent desert plant.