Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Agave toumeyana v bella, Toumey's Agave

Toumey's Agave has a spike-like flowering stalk where the flowers develop along the cylindrical spike which separates this species from other species of agaves’ with a compound branching arrangement where the flowers develop on the branches of the flowering stalk. Agave toumeyana v bella Toumey's Agave has a 4 to 8 foot flowering stalk, sometimes with a crooked stalk. This agave blooms from May to July at elevations from 2,400 to 5,200 feet. The specimen in the photograph was from a small population north-east of Roosevelt Lake, Gila County, Arizona. Agave toumeyana v bella Toumey's Agave is also called Fairy-ring Agave because of the growth pattern of young "pup" agaves the circle the parent plant growing larger with each passing year. Agave toumeyana v bellaToumey's Agave is rare in North America where it is known only from a few small populations in central Arizona in Gila, Maricopa, Pima and Yavapai counties. Agave toumeyana v bella

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

Also Called: Fairy-ring Agave, Toumey Agave, Toumey's Century Plant

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

Synonyms: (Agave toumeyana subsp. bella)
Status: Native.

Duration: Perennial

Size: Flowering stalk 4 to 8 tall, more or less; plants approximately 8 to 10 inches tall by 4 to 8 inches wide.

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

Leaves: Green, many equal length leaves giving a flat-top silhouette; leaf margins brown with very small teeth towards base; leaves concave on upper surface.

Flower Color: Pale yellow, greenish; inflorescence spicate or appearing so, narrowly cylindric; perianth broadly funnelform; fruit a capsule.

Flowering Season: May to July.

Elevation: 2,400 to 5,200 feet.

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

Recorded Range: In the United States Agave toumeyana v bella is fairly rare where its populations are limited to central Arizona. In Arizona Agave toumeyana v bella is known only from a few populations in the south-central part of the state in Gila, Maricopa, Pima and Yavapai counties.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Agave toumeyana v bella.

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 v bella is 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.

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.

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: 12/29/2016, updated 12/16/2019
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 12/29/2016).
ETYMOLOGY: Michael L. Charters; California Plant Names: Latin and Greek Meanings and Derivations; A Dictionary of Botanical and Biographical Etymology; (accessed 12/09/2019)