Scientific name: Agave attenuata
Common name: Fox tail agave
Uses: border; edging; mass planting
Agave attenuata is a species of agave sometimes known as the 'lion's tail', 'swan's neck', or 'foxtail' for its development of a curved stem, unusual among agaves. Native to the plateau of central Mexico, as one of the unarmed agaves, it is popular as an ornamental plant in gardens.
The stems typically range from 50-150 cm in length, and eventually old leaves fall off, leaving them naked and visible. The leaves are ovate-accuminate, 50-70 cm long and 12-16 cm, pale in color, ranging from a light gray to a light yellowish green. There are no teeth, nor terminal spines, although the leaves taper to points that fray with age. The inflorescence is a dense raceme 2.5 to 3 meters high, with greenish-yellow flowers.
The original specimens were sent to Kew by the explorer Galeotti in 1834, from an unspecified location in central Mexico. More recent study has reported it from Jalisco east to Mexico, in small colonies at elevations of 1,900 to 2,500 meters, but there have been few sightings, suggesting this agave is rare in the wild