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Agave parviflora Torr.

Smallflower agave, smallflower century plant

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassLiliidaeIncludes lilies, orchids, and many others
OrderAsparagalesA diverse group that includes asparagus
FamilyAsparagaceaeAgaves, asparagus, hyacinths, and others
GenusAgaveFrom Greek, meaning “noble”
SpeciesparvifloraFrom Greek parvus, “small,” and flora, “flower”

About plant names...

This species is native to a small area of southern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico. It is threatened by loss of habitat.

Identification: For agaves, at least, these are just little fellers, 4-6″ (10-15 cm) tall and 6-8″ (15-20 cm) around. They may be solitary plants or growing in dense tufts that probably originated from a single plant. Leaves are 2-4″ (5-10 cm) long and less than ½″ (1.3 cm) wide, dark green, with white imprints from the bud. Short, curly white filaments like those in yuccas are present. Yellow flowers appear atop a spike 3-6′ (91-182 cm) tall. About two years after flowering, the plant dies, like most other agaves.


Irish, Mary & Irish, Gary, Agaves, Yuccas and Related Plants: A Gardener’s Guide, Timber Press, 2000, p. 149

Online References:

The Center for Plant Conversation

The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Sonoran Desert Digital Library

The Integrated Taxonomic Information System

SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network


Agave parviflora description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Agave parviflora (smallflower agave, smallflower century plant)

5/11/2008 · Osaka Prefectural Flower Garden, Osaka, Japan · By KENPEI


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