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Light: Full Sun
Zone: 7, 8, 9, 10
Yellow-green, succulent rosettes of lechuguilla stand 1 to 2 feet tall and sucker readily. Strong spines are tipped on the edges of thick, leathery leaves. It takes 12-15 years for the lechuguilla to store enough food for the large flower stalk, which grows amazingly fast to 15 feet tall. Due to its unbranched and flexible nature, the stalk often bends when heavy with buds or flowers while maintaining a graceful arc. Purple or yellowish flowers cover the upper portion of the stalk. The stalk dies once it has produced flowers and seeds.
During the early exploration of the Southwest, this formidable plant presented a dangerous obstacle. Those sharp leaves could penetrate a horse's leg, and a rider could be impaled if he fell. In most cases, horses familiar with the country can avoid it.
In the case of lechuguilla, the succulent, yellow-green rosettes are widely suckering. Branches have thick, leathery leaves that are tipped with solid spines. After 8-20 years, a cluster of yellow to pinkish-white flowers bloom on a stalk rising from the center of the rosette. Once the plant sets fruit, it dies. Agaves like this are often cultivated in rock gardens. It is tolerant of poor, acid soil.
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