AZ Arboretums

Agave colorata

Desert zinnia

Common: Mescal Ceniza
Family: Agavaceae
Origin/Range: Coastal northwestern Mexico (Sonora, northern Sinaloa)
Light: Full sun to light shade
Hardy to 18°F (-8°C). Heat tolerance excellent.

Water:  Little water, needs good drainage

Succulent rosette, slowly clumping, 2 to 4 feet in diameter (60 to 120 cm). Mature plants develop a short stem. The Mescal Ceniza occasionally produce suckers.

This unusual agave has exceptional, heavily "toothed," marbled gray-green leaves which bear bud printing (the impression of adjacent leaves). Agave colorata grows to approximately 2 feet by 2 feet.

This Sonoran native offers good contrast to green groundcovers, mesquite and ironwood. Its light yellow flowers are borne on a short stalk. The yellow to orange flowers of the Agave colorata are organized in a 6 to 10 feet tall panicle (2 to 3 m). They come in the spring.