Agaves Reported To Produce Bulbils (A Partial List)

A cursory search of the internet produced a list of Agave species reported as having produced bulbils (aerial plantlets), though not necessarily 100% of the time.

Also note Agave species get renamed, or have synonym names, so there may (or may not be) duplications and outdated species names in this list.  

Some reports state that bulbils are produced if flowers are not successfully fertilized.  One report states that a flowing stem with significant damage will produce bulbils.   Bulbils may be produced on the same flowering stem as seeds.  In other cases, a flowering stem may be only seeds, or only bulbils.  Bulbils may be produced by cultivated plants, which in the wild produce only seeds.  

As a side note, some Agaves found to be solitary in the wild may offset in cultivation.

Readers, if you know of any other species, and especially if you have photographs of the bulbils of that species, I'd love to add them to the list and post your photos.  Comment or email me.  Thanks! 

A. aktites
A. angustifolia
A. arizonica
A. attenuata marginata
A. breedlovei
A. cantala
A. cantala var. acuispina
A. chrysantha
A. decipiens
A. desmettiana
A. fourcroydes
A. guiengola
A. gypsophila
A. karwinski
A. macroacantha
A. murpheyi
A. neglecta
A. ovatifolia (in cultivation)
A. palmeri
A. parvidentata
A. parviflora
A. polyacantha
A. sisalana
A. tequilana
A. toumeyana
A. vilmoriniana
A. weberi
A. werchlei


  1. Thanks for the research and that list - a perfect starting point, since I can use a few of those in Abq, and a few more in my work in the lower elevation, milder areas I work in. In Mary Irish's book on agaves, yuccas, etc, she also notes some selections of certain species will form bulbils while other selections of the same species won't. She even added how Yucca elata and some Hesperaloe for bulbils - I would not have noticed that or re-read her book if you had not posted on it a few times!

    You might like Greg Starr's new book on agaves; just got mine and very well-done scanning it, but barely started it.


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