CPC Plant Profile: Schott's Century Plant
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Plant Profile

Schott's Century Plant (Agave schottii var. treleasei)

The green leaves of the Trelease agave are 25-40 cm long and form a perennial rosette. Photo Credit: Lynda Pritchett-Kozak
  • Global Rank: T1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • State: AZ
  • Nature Serve ID: 142650
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 02/25/1988

Members of the Agave genus occur natively in arid and tropical regions from the southern USA to northern South America, and throughout the Caribbean (Benson and Darrow 1981, Gentry 1986). More than 200 species are recognized. The name Agave is derived from the Greek and means "noble," referring to their tall flower stalk. Some agave species have stalks that grow up to 40 feet tall. Agaves in general have many common and native local names including maguey, mescal, lechuguilla, amole and century plant. Several species in the genus Agave are of global economic importance. Agave sisalana and Agave fourcroydes are widely cultivated in Africa, Asia, Mexico and Central America for fiber. The most important economic use of agaves is production of mescal and tequila. These products are worth millions of dollars to the Mexican economy. In Mexico, thousands of hectares are devoted to plantations of Agave tequilana, the source of tequila. Other species are grown world-wide as ornamentals (Desert Botanic Garden 2002) Agave schotti v. treleasei is succulent rosette-forming perennial plant with leaves that are 25 to 40 cm long, 12 to 25 mm wide, linear, and deep green with no bud imprinting. Flowers appear from May to July. The flower stalk is 2 to 4 meters tall and 2.6 to 3.3 cm in diameter (Gentry 1986). It is subspicate to narrowly racemose-paniculate, the longer branchlets 27 to 40 mm long, the shorter ones 0.7 to 2.2 mm long (Benson and Darrow 1981, Gentry 1986). The deep yellow flowers are 35 to 50 mm long, usually 2 per cluster (Benson and Darrow 1981, Gentry 1986).

Participating Institutions
Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Known from 6 clones, this poorly understood plant is found in a restricted range in the Santa Rita Mountains, Pima and Cochise Counties, Arizona. ?Direct threats aren't known, however, its natural rarity is its biggest threats. ?More information is needed, including taxonomic, inventory, and chromosomal studies.

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

The primary threat to Agave schottii v. treleasei is its inherent rarity (USFWS 1976).

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

There is only a single occurrence of Agave schottii v. treleasei in habitat, located in the Santa Catalina Mountains (Phillips and Hodgeson 1991). This variety may be a polyploid of A. schottii v. schottii. Another possibility that is more likely is that plants here are hybrids between A. schottii. v. schottii and A. chrysantha or A. palmeri. (see Notes)

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

None known.

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Management focus is on avoiding direct impacts. The Santa Catalina site is located in the Pursch Ridge Wilderness Area, on U.S. Forest Service land (Phillips and Hodgson 1991).

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Taxonomic clarification is needed, and additional surveys are also needed. Chromosomal studies on plants from both sites (see notes) are needed, along with further electrophoretic work.

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Not Available


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Taxon Agave schottii var. treleasei
Authority (Toumey) Kearney & Peebles
Family Asparagaceae
CPC Number 50
ITIS 182692
Common Names Trelease agave | Trelease shindagger | Trelease's century plant | Schott agave
Associated Scientific Names Agave schottii var. treleasei | Agave treleasei
Distribution Agave schottii var. treleasei is a narrow endemic found only in Pima and Cochise counties in southeastern Arizona. (Desert Botanic Garden 2002).
State Rank
State State Rank
Arizona S1

This species occurs at elevations from 1100-2000 meters on sunny, open, gentle rocky slopes or in small drainages in high desert scrub, grassland and juniper and oak woodlands on gneiss substrate. (Desert Botanic Garden 2002).

Ecological Relationships

Like most species in the Agave genus, this species likely has its flowers pollinated by bats and/or hawk moths (Phillips and Comus 2000).

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Butterflies & Moths
Sphinx moths Hawk moths Floral Visitor Link
Insects Confirmed Pollinator Link
Bats Floral Visitor Link

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