Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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Dale W. McNeal, except as specified

Perennial to trees, from membranous bulb, fibrous corm, scaly rhizome, or erect caudex
Stem generally underground
Leaves generally basal, often withering early, alternate, generally ± linear
Inflorescence various, generally bracted
Flower generally bisexual, generally radial; perianth often showy, segments generally 6 in two petal-like whorls (outer sometimes sepal-like), free or fused at base; stamens 6 (or 3 + generally 3 ± petal-like staminodes), filaments sometimes attached to perianth or fused into a tube or crown; ovary superior or inferior, chambers 3, placentas generally axile, style generally 1, stigmas generally 3
Fruit: generally capsule, loculicidal or septicidal (berry or nut)
Genera in family: ± 300 genera, 4600 species: especially ± dry temp and subtropical; many cultivated for ornamental or food; some TOXIC. Here includes genera sometimes treated in Agavaceae, Amaryllidaceae, and other families.


Katy K. McKinney

Shrub-like, often producing rosettes without seeds, blooms once and dies
Leaves in basal rosette, long-lived, < 50 cm, sessile, linear to ovate, fleshy, glabrous; lateral teeth and tip spine-like
Inflorescence: panicle or raceme-like, scapose, generally bracted, generally 2–4 m
Flower: perianth segments 6 in 2 petal-like whorls, 3–10 cm; stamens 6; ovary inferior, chambers 3
Fruit: capsule, ± ovoid, loculicidal
Seeds many, flat, black
Species in genus: ± 300 species: warm and tropical Am
Etymology: (Greek: noble, from imposing stature)
Reference: [Gentry 1982 Agaves of North America, Univ AZ Press]


A. shawii Engelm.


Plant dark green; caudex 10–30 cm, branched
Leaf 20–50 cm, generally ovate; marginal teeth variable
Inflorescence: panicle; peduncle bracts purple, fleshy; flowers sessile in tight clusters
Flower: perianth 75–100 mm, yellow to reddish, tube 12–16 mm, lobes unequal; filaments attached near middle of tube, 60–70 mm; ovary 35–50 mm, fleshy
Fruit 50–70 mm, beaked
Ecology: Coastal bluffs, slopes,
Elevation: < 500 m.
Bioregional distribution: s South Coast (San Diego Co.)
Distribution outside California: Baja California
Horticultural information: In cultivation.
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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bioregional map for AGAVE%20shawii being generated
YOU CAN HELP US make sure that our distributional information is correct and current. If you know that a plant occurs in a wild, reproducing state in a Jepson bioregion NOT highlighted on the map, please contact us with that information. Please realize that we cannot incorporate range extensions without access to a voucher specimen, which should (ultimately) be deposited in an herbarium. You can send the pressed, dried collection (with complete locality information indicated) to us (e-mail us for details) or refer us to an accessioned herbarium specimen. Non-occurrence of a plant in an indicated area is difficult to document, but we will especially value your input on those types of possible errors (see automatic conversion of distribution data to maps).

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Agave shawii
Retrieve dichotomous key for Agave
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
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