Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Agave schottii, Schott's Century Plant

Schott's Century Plant has a thin rounded flowering stalk between 4 to 8 feet tall with beautiful yellow flowers. Agave schottiiSchott's Century Plant flowers begin blooming at the bottom of the flowering stalk and continuously move in an upward direction as the flowering process unfolds. Agave schottiiSchott's Century Plant or Shindagger is relatively rare in the United States where it is found in southern Arizona and southwest New Mexico. Agave schottiiSchott's Century Plant blooms from May to July in elevations from 4,000 to 7,000 feet. Habitat preferences are gravelly to rocky areas on exposed mountainsides and plant associations including desert scrub, grasslands, pinyon-juniper and oak woodland communities. Agave schottii

Scientific Name: Agave schottii
Common Name: Schott's Century Plant

Also Called: Schott Agave, Shindagger (Spanish: Amole, Maguey, Amolillo)

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

Synonyms: (Agave geminiflora var. sonorae, Agave mulfordiana)

Status: Native

Duration: Perennial

Size: Flowering stalk 4 to 8 tall, more or less; plants approx. 4 feet wide by 2 feet high.

Growth Form: Forb/herb, shrub, subshrub; plants acaulescent, this species freely suckers; plants solitary rosettes or densely caespitose.

Leaves: Yellow, yellowish-green, dark green; leaves widest at base; shape linear; margins mostly with thread-like fibers(filiform).

Flower Color: Yellow (perianth); anthers also yellow; 1, 2 or more flowers per cluster, sweet scented; erect, funnelform; inflorescence mostly spicate, sub-spicate; often with branches toward upper end of flowering stalk (racemous-paniculate); fruit a capsule.

Flowering Season: May to July.

Elevation: 4,000 to 7,000 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Exposed mountainsides; gravelly to rocky places; desert scrub, grasslands and pinyon-juniper and oak woodland communities.

Recorded Range: Relatively rare in the United States where Agave schottii is limited in distribution to Arizona and New Mexico. In Arizona it is found in the southern parts of the state and in Graham County. In New Mexico it is found in the far southwest parts of the state in Hidalgo County. This species is also native to northwest Mexico, primarily Sonora.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Agave schottii.

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 schottii is listed by the State of Arizona as salvage restricted under ARS ยง 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 schottii;
Agave schottii var. schottii, Schott's Century Plant (AZ, NM);
Agave schottii var. treleasei, Trelease's Century Plant, (AZ).

Comments: The type species for Agave schottii from the Pajarito Mountains (Schott 1855), western Santa Cruz County, Arizona; the type Agave mulfordiana (Trelease) from the Rincon Mountains (Toumey 1894), Pima County, Arizona.

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

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.

Agave schottii has been used for food by indigenous southwestern United States peoples.
Papago Food, Unspecified. Pit baked and used for food.
See ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 12/28/2016, 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
James L. Reveal & Wendy C. Hodgson in Flora of North America (vol. 26); FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 26 | Agavaceae; 3. Agave schottii Engelmann, Trans. Acad. Sci. St. Louis. 3: 305. 1875 (as schotti); Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford.
James L. Reveal & Wendy C. Hodgson in Flora of North America (vol. 26); FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 26 | 3b. Agave schottii var. treleasei (Toumey) Kearney & Peebles, J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 29: 474. 1939.| Agavaceae;; 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 12/27/2016).
ETYMOLOGY: Michael L. Charters; California Plant Names: Latin and Greek Meanings and Derivations; A Dictionary of Botanical and Biographical Etymology; (accessed 12/09/2019)