CPC Plant Profile: Eggers' Agave
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Plant Profile

Eggers' Agave (Agave eggersiana)

This is a full shot of the plant, which is a relative of the century plant. Photo Credit: Jennifer Possley
Description
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • State: VI
  • Nature Serve ID: 149985
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 04/04/1991

Agave eggersiana is a tall herb that produces numerous yellow tubular flowers along a long spike. These flowers mature into vegetative bulbs referred to as bulbis, which are clones of the mother plant that will eventually fall and disperse. This robust perennial only reproduces once every 10-15 years. The body of this plant is a large rosette of thick, fleshy leaves with spiny margins ending in a sharp point, typical of the Agave genus (USFWS 2014).  

Participating Institutions
Updates
  • 10/13/2020
  • Living Collection

Fairchild had two 25+ year-old plants from Cruzan Gardens in St. Croix which flowered in 2015 and 2017, then died. The first plant to flower produced three pups, which are at Fairchild. The second produced several hundred pups. We have kept several at Fairchild, and shipped boxes full of pups to 8 different gardens around the US in 2017. A. eggersiana is known from a small number of wild and cultivated plants (USFWS 1998a). It is being cultivated in St. Croix and at Fairchild Botanical Garden (USFWS 1998a).

J. Possley
  • 11/05/2017

Fairchild had two 25+ year-old plants from Cruzan Gardens in St. Croix which flowered in 2015 and 2017, then died.  The first plant to flower produced three pups, which are at Fairchild.  The second produced several hundred pups.  We have kept several at Fairchild, and shipped boxes full of pups to 8 different gardens around the US in 2017.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Endemic to Virgin Islands. Historically found in its natural setting on St. Croix, and cultivated for ornament on St. Thomas and St. Croix. In the most recent survey of its status, the plant was found in three or fewer localities, and listed as rare and endangered. In 1990, the plant was not known to grow in the wild, and was noted as cultivated only, at Cruzan Gardens in St. Croix. (Center for Plant Conservation, 1991 Accession Proposal, Carol Lippincott, 30 Oct 1990).

  • 01/01/2010

The greatest threat is habitat destruction brought on by residential development on private land. Other threats include feral pigs and goats on National Park Service land (USFWS 1998b).

  • 01/01/2010

A. eggersiana is known from a small number of wild and cultivated plants (USFWS 1998a). It is being cultivated in St. Croix and at Fairchild Botanical Garden (USFWS 1998a).

  • 01/01/2010

No management plan has been developed. The species is currently being cultivated in St. Croix and at Fairchild Botanical Garden in Florida (USFWS 1998a).

  • 01/01/2010

Research needs include distribution and abundance, general biology and ecology (USFWS 1998a). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife requests that any interested parties (concerned government agencies, the scientific community and/or industry) submit data or suggestions concerning this species (USFWS 1998b).

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Agave eggersiana
Authority Trel.
Family Asparagaceae
CPC Number 46
ITIS 182671
USDA AGEG
Common Names St. Croix Agave | Eggers' Century Plant
Associated Scientific Names
Distribution This perennial is known only from the island of St. Croix, part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, but there are few individuals remaining on private land and are threatened by tourist development (USFWS 2012).
State Rank
State State Rank
Virgin Islands
Habitat

This species of century plant grows on dry, exposed areas, typical of the eastern region of the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Soil must be well-drained with sparse, native vegetation and plenty of bare rock cover (USFWS 2014).

Ecological Relationships

Ecological relationships are unknown.

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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