Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Agave toumeyana, Toumey's Agave

Toumey's Agave blooms from May to July. Flowers range from pale yellow, greenish and red. This species attracts insects including bees, as well as birds and bats. (Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa sp) visits Toumey’s Agave). Agave toumeyanaThe fruits of Toumey's Agave are known as capsules and each capsule contains numerous seeds. Agave toumeyanaToumey's Agave grows in rocky hillsides without much soil. Some habitats are rolling hillsides while others grow among jagged rocky outcrops. Agave toumeyanaToumey's Agave is a rosette type subshrub with thin leaves containing thread-like fibers along the leaf margins. This species "pups" readily and the new plants surround the parent plants as seen in the photograph. Agave toumeyanaToumey's Agave is a native species, rare in North America where it is only known from south-central Arizona in Gila, Pinal and eastern Maricopa counties. Agave toumeyana

Scientific Name: Agave toumeyana
Common Name: Toumey's Agave

Also Called: Toumey Agave, Toumey's Century Plant

Family: Agavaceae, Agave or Century Plant Family (Reclassified to Asparagaceae)

Synonyms: ()

Status: Native
Duration: Perennial

Size: Flowering stalk approximately 4 to 9 feet tall; plants approximately 16 inches high by 2 feet wide.

Growth Form: Forb/herb, shrub, subshrub; plants in rosettes; caespitose.

Leaves: Green, light green, dark green or yellowish-green; several leaves subulate to linear; leaves concave on the upper surface; margins with white thread-like fibers.

Flower Color: Pale yellow, greenish or red; flowers on pairs; perianth tube broadly funnelform, tepals not equal; inflorescence spicate, narrowly cylindric; fruit a capsule.

Flowering Season: May to July.

Elevation: 2,000 to 5,000 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Open rocky, often limestone or basalt slopes of desert scrub, chaparral, pinon-juniper woodland communities.

Recorded Range: Agave toumeyana is rare in North America where it is known only from south-central Arizona in Gila, Pinal and eastern Maricopa counties.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Agave toumeyana.

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 toumeyana islisted 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 varieties in Agave toumeyana;
Agave toumeyana var. bella, (AZ);
Agave toumeyana var. toumeyana, (AZ).

Comments: In Southwestern Desert Flora also see: Goldenflower Century Plant, Agave chrysantha; Lechuguilla, Agave lechuguilla; Parry's Agave, Agave parryi; Schott's Century Plant, Agave schottii; Toumey's Agave, Agave toumeyana v bella.

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.
Date Profile Completed: 12/31/2016, updated 12/16/2019
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 12/09/2019)
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 01/03/2020).
Hodgson, Wendy. 1999. Agavaceae. Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science and Canotia; 32(1).:1-21 32_1_Hodgson_Agavaceae.pdf
James L. Reveal & Wendy C. Hodgson in Flora of North America (vol. 26); FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 26 | Agavaceae; 2b. Agave toumeyana var. bella Breitung, Cact. Succ. J. (Los Angeles). 32: 81, fig. 41. 1960.; Fairy-ring agave; Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford.
SEINet synonyms, scientific names, geographic locations, general information - (accessed 12/31/2016).
ETYMOLOGY: Michael L. Charters; California Plant Names: Latin and Greek Meanings and Derivations; A Dictionary of Botanical and Biographical Etymology; (accessed 12/09/2019)