Agave salmiana (Giant Agave)
Agave salmiana (Giant Agave) is a succulent plant that forms a large rosette of thick, dark green leaves with strong teeth on the edges an…
A. salmiana presents a spiral-shaped rosette with large flared and erect leaves. These leaves are thick, dark green with a large point at the tip and strong spines on the edges. When a leaf has unfolded, it leaves an imprint on the leaf underneath.
Like most agaves, the species is monocarpic, that is to say it only flowers once and then dies. This flowering occurs after 15 to 25 years producing a vertical floral stem, typically up to 4 m (13 ft) long and bearing greenish-yellow flowers. The largest specimens have been significantly taller. One specimen growing at the Strawberry Canyon Botanical Garden on the campus of U. C. Berkeley, Berkeley, California in 1974 produced an inflorescence with a total height of 52 feet (16 m) of which the scape or peduncle was about 39' 4" (12 m) and the panicle per se was 13 feet (4 m).  Hermann J.H. Jacobsen states that the inflorescence of A. salmiana has reached an overall height of 62 feet (19 m),  making the inflorescence of A. salmiana the tallest of any known species of plant.
Old plants reach 1.8 m in height and the leaves form a rosette 3.6 m in diameter.
The variety A. salmiana var. ferox (K.Koch) Gentry  is often encountered in cultivation. The epithet ferox is due to the hard and long (up to 8 cm) spines.
The Most Beautiful Agave Plants and How to Care For Them
Use these versatile and stunning succulents for adding drama to pots and sunny gardens
When Sunset published its book Succulents and Cacti in 1970, agaves definitely took a back seat to sedums—there were only about a half dozen species mentioned. Now, we could fill a whole book on these knockouts alone. Growing beautiful agave plants has never been easier — there’s a variety for every garden and more choices than ever. Grow them alone as a specimen for dramatic statement, or combine with other succulents for a stunning sea creature landscape. Check out these agave images for inspiration (or just because they’re drop-dead gorgeous) and pick up a few tips for how to grow them while you’re at it.
All agaves do best in full sun and sandy, well-drained soil, and thrive on the scantest amount of water. Some are more cold-tolerant than others, but they can’t handle damp cold. When they do bloom—a rare feat—these slow-growing yucca-cousins eject a giant asparagus-looking flower spike straight to the heavens.
If you want more pointers on how to grow agave, check out these care tips.