Plants acaulescent, freely suckering; rosettes solitary or cespitose, 1-1.5 × 1.5-2 dm. Leaves ascending to erect, 6-10 × 0.8-1 cm; blade dark green with white bud-prints on both surfaces, oblong-linear, firm, adaxially plane toward apex, abaxially convex toward base; margins straight, denticulate near base, filiferous, fibers white, tightly curled; apex abruptly acuminate, spine brown to grayish white, subulate, 0.5-0.8 cm. Scape 1-1.8 m. Inflorescences spicate, laxly flowered on distal 1/2; bracts caducous, narrowly triangular, 1-3 cm; peduncle shorter than 2 mm. Flowers 2-4 per cluster, strongly recurved, 1.4-1.7 cm; perianth cream to pale yellow, tube urceolate, 5-7 × 4.5-5.5 mm, limb lobes erect to incurved, subequal, 2-3.5 mm; stamens slightly exserted; filaments inserted 1 mm above base of perianth tube, erect, cream, 0.9-1.4 cm; anthers yellow, 5-8 mm; ovary 0.6-0.9 cm, neck slightly constricted, 2 mm. Capsules sessile to short-pedicellate, globose, 0.6-1 cm, apex short-beaked. Seeds 2.5-3 mm. 2n = 60. Flowering late spring--late summer. Open rocky slopes, mostly in desert grasslands and oak woodlands; 900--1500 m; Ariz.; nw Mexico.
FNA 2003, Hodgson 1999, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Common Name: smallflower century plant Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Succulent General: Perennial scapose succulents, rosettes solitary or in clusters, the plants freely suckering,10-15 cm long and 15-20 cm wide. Leaves: Ascending to erect, 6-10 cm long and to 1 cm wide, blades dark green with white bud-prints on both surfaces, oblong-linear, firm, adaxially plane toward the apex, abaxially convex toward the base, the margins straight and denticulate near the base and filiferous with white, tightly curled fibers; apices abruptly acuminate, terminal spines brown to grayish white, subulate, < 1 cm long. Flowers: Scapes 1-2 m tall, slender, green or reddish; inflorescences spicate, laxly flowered on the distal half of the scape; bracts caducous, narrowly triangular, 1-3 cm; flowers 13-17 mm long, in clusters of 1-4; perianths cream to pale yellow, erect to incurved, 2-4 mm long. Fruits: Capsules sessile to short-pedicellate, globose, 6-12 mm long and to 10 mm in diameter, with short-beaked apices. Seeds black, 3 mm. Ecology: Found on open rocky slopes, mostly in desert grasslands and oak woodlands, from 3,000-5,000 ft (914-1524 m); flowering June-July. Distribution: s. AZ and Sonora, MEX. Notes: This is a smallish Agave that often grows in clusters. Look to the spicate inflorescences; the filaments inserted near the base of the cylindric perianth tubes; the rounded lobes of the cream to pale yellow or reddish-tinged flowers; and the dark green leaves with filamentous margins and white bud scars to help identify this species. Ethnobotany: Unknown; in general, Agaves in the Southwest have many ethnobotanical uses. Synonyms: None Editor: LCrumbacher2012, AHazelton 2015 Etymology: Agave comes from the Greek agauos, "admirable, noble," in reference to the admirable appearance of the century plant, and parviflora comes from the Greek parvus, "small," and flora, "flower," hence "small-flowered".