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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

LILIACEAE

LILY FAMILY

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.

AGAVE

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]

Native

A. utahensis Engelm.

UTAH AGAVE

Plant blue-glaucous; caudex 18–30 cm, branched
Leaf 15–30 cm, generally narrowly lanceolate; lateral teeth 2–4 mm, blunt, detachable
Inflorescence raceme-like; peduncle bracts 0; flowers 2–8 per cluster
Flower: perianth 25–31 mm, yellow, tube 2.5–4 mm, lobes equal; filaments attached near base of tube, 18–20 mm; ovary 10–25 mm
Fruit 15–35 mm, short-beaked
Ecology: UNCOMMON. Shadscale scrub, Joshua-tree woodland
Elevation: 900–1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: n&e Desert Mountains
Distribution outside California: to Utah, Arizona
Flowering time: May–Jul
Synonyms: var. eborispina (Hester) Breitung, ivory-spined agave; var. nevadensis Engelm., Clark Mtn agave
Horticultural information: DRN, DRY, SUN: 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21.

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