Leaves: Green, gray-green (glaucous-green), variable to light green; many leaves, leaves overlap each other (imbricate), about 4 to 26 inches (10-65 cm) long and 1.5 to 8 inches (4.5-20 cm ) wide, leaf shape variable depending on sub-species or cultivated species, lanceolate to broadly ovate, leaves thick, margins with sharp, claw-like teeth terminal spine.
Flowering Season: June to August throughout its range in North America.
Elevation: 4,500 to 8,000 feet (1,372 to 2,438 m).
Habitat Preferences: High deserts, particularly in and on rocky soils and slopes in grasslands, chaparral, pine-oak woodlands; high deserts.
Recorded Range: Parry's Agave is found in the southwestern United States in AZ, NM and TX. It is also native to central and northern Mexico.
North America & US County Distribution Map for Agave parryi.
U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: In North America Agave parryi and its' sub-species are listed by the State of Arizona as salvage restricted under ARS § 3-903(B)(2).
Genus Information: In North America there are 38 species and 38 accepted taxa overall for Agave. World wide, The Plant List includes 200 accepted species names and includes a further 242 infraspecific rank for the genus.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 12 species of Agave, California has 4 species, New Mexico has 5 species, and Texas has 9 species, Nevada and Utah have 1 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.
There are 2 sub-species in Agave parryi;
Agave parryi ssp. neomexicana, Parry's Agave (NM, TX);
Agave parryi ssp. parryi, Parry's agave, (AZ, NM, TX).
There are 3 varieties in Agave parryi; Agave parryi var. couesii, Parry's Agave, (Yavapai and Gila Counties, AZ)
Agave parryi var. huachucensis, Parry's Agave, (Huachuca Mountains, AZ)
Agave parryi var. truncata is endemic to Mexico, in the Durango/Zacatecas area, MX.
Comments: Parry's Agave is an attractive agave both in habitat and featured as a cultivated landscape specimen. The plants look dramatic as a strong rosette with rigid succulent dagger-like spin-tipped leaves. The plants spend their entire life developing a dramatic flowering stalk with beautiful yellow flowers. Interestingly the plants die soon after sprouting the flowering stalk. This species was used heavily by the Apache and other southwestern tribes as an important food staple, fiber, soap, tools, medicine for bartering purposes. Mescal, Pulque and tequila are derived from the juices of the native species.
Parry’s Agave flowers are visited regularly by hummingbirds, nectar-feeding bats and insects in search of nectar.
Special Value to Native Bees, Butterflies and Insects
Parry’s Agave flowers are visited by the following pollinators - Find out more from (BAMONA) Butterflies and Moths of North America.
Orange Giant-Skipper, Agathymus neumoegeni, Caterpillar Hosts: Parry\'s agave (Agave parryi).
Huachuca Giant-Skipper, Agathymus evansi, Caterpillar Hosts: Parry\'s agave (Agave parryi).
The genus Agave is from the Greek word "agauos" translated to "admirable" and "noble" a reference to admirable and often stately appearance of the species. The genus Agave was published in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus.
The species epithet "parryi" is named in honor of Dr. Charles Christopher Parry (1823-1890), an English born American botanist and botanical collector.
Agave parryi is used for a multitude of purposes by southwestern United States indigenous peoples.
Apache Food, Dried Food, Heads and young leaves roasted, sun dried and used immediately or stored.
Apache, Chiricahua & Mescalero Food, Unspecified, Bulbous crowns baked in pits, pulpy centers released, pounded into thin sheets and eaten. The Mescalero Apache were named for the food they made from mescal. In the pits where the crowns were baked, the largest rock was placed in the center and a cross made on it from black ashes. While the mescal baked, the women were supposed to stay away from their husbands, and if the crown was not completely roasted when removed from the pit, they were believed to have disobeyed.
Apache, Western Food, Beverage, Juice fermented into a drink.
Apache, Western Other, Tools, Stalk fashioned into hoe handles.
Comanche Food, Staple, Used as one of the most important foods.
Mohave Food, Staple, Used as one of the most important foods.
Paiute Food, Staple, Used as one of the most important foods.
Papago Food, Staple, Used as one of the most important foods.
Pima Other, Cash Crop, Obtained by barter from the Papago Indians.
Ute Food, Staple, Used as one of the most important foods
Yuma Food, Staple, Used as one of the most important foods.
See complete listing of ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.