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Agave murpheyi - Gibson

Common Name Hohokam Agave, Murphey agave
Family Asparagaceae
USDA hardiness 8-12
Known Hazards Sharp Leaves
Habitats Grows in warm temperate to subtropical highlands, arid to semi-arid. Plants are usually found in close proximity of major drainage systems on open, hilly slopes or alluvial terraces in desert scrub with pre-Columbian agricultural and settlement features. Agave murpheyi grows at elevations from 400 to 900 meters.
Range Southern-central Arizona (U.S.A., Northern America) from the Bradshaw and New River Mountains, east to the Sierra Ancha Mountains and northern Sonora desert (Mexico).
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Agave murpheyi Hohokam Agave, Murphey agave


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Agave murpheyi Hohokam Agave, Murphey agave
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Agave murpheyi is an evergreen Perennial growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

No synonyms are recorded for this name.

Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Apical bud
Edible Uses:

Edible Portion: Heart, Growing tip. Agave murpheyi was cultivated by the Hohokam and possibly other Native Americans for both food and fiber. For food the basal rosette was harvested just before the Hohokam agave sent up a flower stalk. At this time the concentration of sugars in the rosette is at its highest The rosettes weighing about 4 kg were cooked for two or three days in a pit filled with hot stones and covered with hot coals and dirt. The baked rosette compared in taste to a sweet potato (although containing inedible fiber) is nutritious with 347 calories and 3.5 grams of protein per 100 grams. Carbon Farming Solutions - Staple Crop: basic starch (The term staple crop typically refers to a food that is eaten routinely and accounts for a dominant part of people's diets in a particular region of the world) [1-1].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None Known

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Other Uses

A good potted plant. An excellent garden landscape plants. Accent Plant.

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

Cultivation details

Historic Crop  Management: Standard  Staple Crop: Basic Starch

Climate: warm temperate, tropical highlands. Humidity: arid to semi-arid. Grow it in porous soil with adequate drainage. It should be grown in full sun. The leaves will keep their blue-gray colour and the plants will stay more compact. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch, with supplemental water during hottest part of year. In winter watering this plant can be done once every 1-2 months, there is no need to mist the leaves. It is a cold hardy species. Agave murpheyi grows at elevations from 400 to 900 meters. Agave was cultivated by the Hohokam Indians in southern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico in rocky areas above the floodplain of the Santa Cruz river where more water-dependent crops were grown. The Hohokam planted agave in rockpiles about 5 ft (1.5 m) across and 2 ft (0.61 m) high. The pile of rocks around the base of the agave plant act as a mulch to help preserve moisture and prevent rodent predation. Hardy to at least -12° C. Carbon Farming Solutions - Cultivation: historic crop. Management: standard (Describes the non-destructive management systems that are used in cultivation) [1-1].

Carbon Farming

  • Historic Crop  These crops were once cultivated but have been abandoned. The reasons for abandonment may include colonization, genocide, market pressures, the arrival of superior crops from elsewhere, and so forth.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Staple Crop: Basic Starch  The Carbon Farming Solution. Eric Toensmeier.

Temperature Converter

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Propagation from offshoots is the fastest and most reliable method of agave plant production. Agave are difficult to grow from seed. Seeds readily germinate but seedling establishment is rare. Temperatures exceeding 95 °F (35 °C), however, decrease germination percentages.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Hohokam Agave, Murphey Agave, Murphey’s Century Plant, Spanish (Español): Maguey Bandeado, Maguey

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

North America, USA. Southern-central Arizona (U.S.A., Northern America) from the Bradshaw and New River Mountains, east to the Sierra Ancha Mountains and northern Sonora desert (Mexico).

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

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Agave utahensis discretaCentury PlantPerennial4.0 8-11  LMNDM31 
Agave utahensis eborispinaCentury PlantPerennial4.0 8-11  LMNDM31 
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