Agave lechuguilla

Agave lechuguilla (common name in Chihuahua: lechuguilla, meaning "small lettuce") is an Agave species found only in the Chihuahuan Desert, where it is an indicator species.[3] It typically grows on calcareous soils.[4] The plant flowers once in its life, then it dies. The flowers are a source of nutrients for insects, bats, and some birds.

The leaves are long, tough, and rigid, with very sharp, hard points which can easily penetrate clothing and even leather, giving the colloquial name "shin-daggers". Mexican people have used fibers from the leaves (commonly called ixtle)."

The water stored in the flowering stalks of this plant, rich in salts and minerals, is sold in Mexico as a sport drink. The plant makes up a large part of the diet of the collared peccary (javelina) in some areas.[5] It is toxic to cattle and sheep, however.[6] Roots of the plants were used as soap by Native Americans.[7]

The plant reproduces most often through underground offshoots, creating large colonies.[7] It also can flower anytime after the plant has reached three to twenty-one years of age, producing a leafless stalk that can reach 12 feet in height.[7] The flower clusters are located at the top and are funnel shaped in purples, reds and yellows.[7] The plant dies after flowering.[7]

Charles Wright first collected the plant in 1849 and it was described by John Torrey in 1859.[7]

Agave lechuguilla
Agave lechuguilla
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Agave
A. lechuguilla
Binomial name
Agave lechuguilla
  • Agave lechuguilla f. glomeruliflora (Engelm.) Trel.
  • Agave poselgeri Salm-Dyck
  • Agave heteracantha Jacobi, illegitimate
  • Agave multilineata Baker
  • Agave lophantha var. tamaulipasana A.Berger
  • Agave univittata var. tamaulipasana (A.Berger) Jacobson


  1. ^ "Agave lechuguilla". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2011-05-02.
  2. ^ Kew World Checklist
  3. ^ West, Steve (2000). Northern Chihuahuan Desert Wildflowers. Globe Pequot. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-56044-980-5.
  4. ^ Turner, Matt (2009). Remarkable Plants of Texas: Uncommon Accounts of Our Common Natives. Austin: University of Texas Press. pp. 109–113. ISBN 978-0-292-71851-7.
  5. ^ Corn, J. L. and R. J. Warren. (1985). Seasonal food habits of the collared peccary in South Texas. Journal of Mammalogy. 66:1 155-59.
  6. ^ Lechuguilla. Archived April 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Toxic plants of Texas. Texas A&M.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Morey, Roy (2008). Little Big Bend : Common, Uncommon, and Rare Plants of Big Bend National Park. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press. p. 37. ISBN 9780896726130. OCLC 80359503.

External links


Agave (, UK also , Anglo-Hispanic: ) is a genus of monocots native to the hot and arid regions of Mexico and the Southwestern United States. Some Agave species are also native to tropical areas of South America. The genus Agave (from the Ancient Greek αγαυή, agauê) is primarily known for its succulent and xerophytic species that typically form large rosettes of strong, fleshy leaves. Plants in this genus may be considered perennial, because they require several to many years to mature and flower. However, most Agave species are more accurately described as monocarpic rosettes or multiannuals, since each individual rosette flowers only once and then dies (see semelparity); a small number of Agave species are polycarpic.Along with plants from the closely related genera Yucca, Hesperoyucca, and Hesperaloe, various Agave species are popular ornamental plants in hot/dry climates, as they require very little supplemental water to survive. Most Agave species grow very slowly. Some Agave species are known by the common name "century plant".

Big Bend National Park

For the Texas State Park see Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Big Bend National Park is an American national park located in West Texas, bordering Mexico. The park has national significance as the largest protected area of Chihuahuan Desert topography and ecology in the United States. The park protects more than 1,200 species of plants, more than 450 species of birds, 56 species of reptiles, and 75 species of mammals.Geological features in the park include sea fossils and dinosaur bones, as well as volcanic dikes. The area has a rich cultural history, from archeological sites dating back nearly 10,000 years to more recent pioneers, ranchers, and miners.The park encompasses an area of 801,163 acres (1,251.8 sq mi; 3,242.2 km2). For more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km), the Rio Grande/Río Bravo forms the boundary between Mexico and the United States, and Big Bend National Park administers approximately 118 miles (190 km) along that boundary. The park was named after a large bend in the river, and the Texas—Mexico border.Because the Rio Grande serves as an international boundary, the park faces unusual constraints while administering and enforcing park rules, regulations, and policies. In accordance with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the park's territory extends only to the center of the deepest river channel as the river flowed in 1848. The rest of the land south of that channel, and the river, lies within Mexican territory. The park is bordered by the protected areas of Parque Nacional Cañon de Santa Elena and Maderas del Carmen in Mexico.

Chihuahuan Desert

The Chihuahuan Desert (Spanish: Desierto de Chihuahua) is a desert and ecoregion designation covering parts of northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. It occupies much of West Texas, parts of the middle and lower Rio Grande Valley and the lower Pecos Valley in New Mexico, and a portion of southeastern Arizona, as well as the central and northern portions of the Mexican Plateau. It is bordered on the west by the extensive Sierra Madre Occidental range, along with northwestern lowlands of the Sierra Madre Oriental range. On the Mexican side, it covers a large portion of the state of Chihuahua, along with portions of Coahuila, north-eastern Durango, the extreme northern part of Zacatecas, and small western portions of Nuevo León. With an area of about 362,000 km2 (139,769 sq mi), it is the third largest desert of the Western Hemisphere and the second largest in North America, after the Great Basin Desert.

Echinocereus chisoensis

Echinocereus chisoensis is a rare North American species of cactus known by the common name Chisos Mountain hedgehog cactus, native to the Chihuahuan Desert of northern Mexico and the south-central United States.

Echinocereus chisoensis is an inconspicuous plant, forming small loose clumps. Stems are up to 30 cm (1 foot) long, sometimes erect but sometimes partially reclining on the ground. Flowers can be up to 10 cm (4 inches) long, whitish along the throat, with red or purple spots near the base, and pink near the tips. Anthers are yellow, fruit green.

Echinomastus mariposensis

Echinomastus mariposensis (syn. Neolloydia mariposensis, Sclerocactus mariposensis) is a rare species of cactus known by the common names Lloyd's fishhook cactus, golfball cactus, silver column cactus, and Mariposa cactus. It is native to a small section of territory straddling the border between Brewster County, Texas, in the United States and the state of Coahuila in Mexico. It has been federally listed as a threatened species in the United States since 1979.


Ixtle or tampico fiber is the general name for a hard plant fiber obtained from a number of Mexican plants, chiefly species of Agave and Yucca. ixtle is the common name (or part of the common name) of the plants producing the fiber. Ixtle is also the common name of a species of bromeliad, Aechmea magdalenae, grown in southern Mexico for its silky fibers.Ixtle fiber is used as a substitute for animal bristles in the manufacture of brushes, cords, and lariats. Wrapped with thread, parallel bundles of fiber were used as the boning in corsets. Tampico Fiber, in cleaning brushes, was introduced in the USA by Lola Products in 1969 with "The Original" Tampico Vegetable & Dish Brush™" as they call it. It was and still is a very popular, All-Natural household cleaning tool.

Particular kinds of Ixtle include:

Jaumave Ixtle, produced from Agave funkiana (syn. A. lophantha), is said to be the best grade. The name comes from the Jaumave Valley in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, where it is grown. The fiber is obtained from the young inner leaves that form the central bud. Jaumave Ixtle fibre is usually 20–40 in (51–102 cm) long, almost white, and almost as strong and flexible as sisal, produced from Agave sisaliana.

Tula Ixtle is produced from Agave lechuguilla or Agave univittata. The name is derived from the town of Tula, also in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. The fiber is also obtained from the inner leaves, and is 13–30 in (33–76 cm) long and almost white.

Palma Ixtle is produced from the young leaves of species of Yucca, known as palmas in Spanish. The main species used is Yucca carnerosana (syn. Samuela carnerosana), although Yucca treculeana is also used. The fiber is more difficult to extract from yuccas than from agaves, requiring the leaves to be steamed first for two to four hours. Individual fibers are 20–40 in (51–102 cm) long, yellow, and usually coarser and stiffer than sisal. The fiber is described as "somewhat gummy".

Lechuguilla Cave

At 138.3 miles (222.6 km), Lechuguilla Cave is the eighth-longest explored cave in the world and the second deepest (1,604 feet or 489 meters) in the continental United States. It is most famous for its unusual geology, rare formations, and pristine condition.

The cave is named for the canyon through which it is entered, which is named for Agave lechuguilla, a species of plant found there. Lechuguilla is in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Access to the cave is limited to approved scientific researchers, survey and exploration teams, and National Park Service management-related trips.

Lechuguilla Desert

The Lechuguilla Desert is a small desert located in southwestern Arizona near the U.S.-Mexico border. It is considered to be part of the Lower Colorado Valley region of the Sonoran Desert. It lies in a north-south direction between the Gila Mountains and the Cabeza Prieta Mountains, and almost entirely in the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range. The desert is named after the Lechuguilla plant, known scientifically as Agave lecheguilla which according to the Wikipedia entry for that occurs exclusively in the Chihuahuan desert many hundreds of miles to the east. The desert is also on the north border of the Gran Desierto de Altar of Sonora, Mexico.

The Lechuguilla Desert lies to the east-northeast of the connected ranges, Gila Mountains, and north of the Tinajas Altas Mountains, which extend southeast into north Sonora. To the west and southwest of the two ranges lies the Yuma Desert. The Tule Desert (Arizona) lies east of the Lechuguilla, and the Cabeza Prieta Mountains; all three deserts are at the northwest perimeter of the great desert, the Gran Desierto de Altar, and the Pinacate Peaks volcanic field region.

List of Agave species

Formerly included

As of June 2014, the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families recognizes 199 species of Agave and a number of natural hybrids.

List of ecoregions in North America (CEC)

This list of ecoregions of North America provides an overview of North American ecoregions designated by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) in its North American Environmental Atlas. It should not be confused with Wikipedia articles based on the classification system developed by the World Wildlife Fund, such as List of ecoregions (WWF) and Lists of ecoregions by country.

The commission was established in 1994 by the member states of Canada, Mexico, and the United States to address regional environmental concerns under the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), the environmental side accord to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Commission's 1997 report, Ecological Regions of North America, provides a framework that may be used by government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic researchers as a basis for risk analysis, resource management, and environmental study of the continent's ecosystems. Ecoregions may be identified by similarities in geology, physiography, vegetation, climate soils, land use, wildlife distributions, and hydrology.

The classification system has four levels. Only the first three levels are shown on this list. "Level I" divides North America into 15 broad ecoregions. "Level II" subdivides the continent into 52 smaller ecoregions. "Level III" subdivides those regions again into 182 ecoregions. "Level IV" is a further subdivision of Level III ecoregions. Level IV mapping is still underway but is complete across most of the United States. For an example of Level IV data, see List of ecoregions in Oregon and the associated articles.

List of flora of the Lower Colorado River Valley

This is a list of flora of the Lower Colorado River Valley (LCRV). The Lower Colorado River Valley is a floristic subdivision of the Sonoran Desert geographic region of the Southwestern United States. It includes plants that grow in the LCRV in Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah. This area of the Sonoran Desert has unique plant communities because it is it is the most arid part of the desert and it has the highest temperatures, in excess of 120 °F during the summer. The low humidity means that most plants must have mechanisms that deal with severe water loss through evaporation. The soils tend to be typical desert soils, coarse and without well-developed organic horizons, and plants can only obtain soil water during and very soon after the infrequent rains.Flora common to the LCRV include Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) and wildflower species.

List of least concern plants

As of September 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 6645 least concern plant species. 30% of all evaluated plant species are listed as least concern.

The IUCN also lists 131 subspecies and 118 varieties as least concern. No subpopulations of plants have been evaluated by the IUCN.

This is a complete list of least concern plant species, subspecies and varieties evaluated by the IUCN.

List of plants in the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens

This List of plants in the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens is based on data published by the gardens and updated annually. The gardens collection includes nearly 2,000 different species and over half of these are succulents. The gardens are noted for their collection of species from the African Aloe genus.

McKittrick Canyon

McKittrick Canyon is a scenic canyon within the Guadalupe Mountains of West Texas and Eddy County, New Mexico. The steep, towering walls of McKittrick Canyon protect a rich riparian oasis in the midst of the Chihuahuan Desert.

The majority of McKittrick Canyon is part of Guadalupe Mountains National Park, but is separated from the main park area and managed as a "day-use only" area with limited visitation hours. However, a large part of North McKittrick Canyon is located in the Guadalupe Ranger District of Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico. Access to McKittrick Canyon is by a 4.2-mile (6.8-km) gated side road that leads to the mouth of McKittrick Canyon from U.S. Route 62/180. Here the National Park Service maintains a parking area, restroom facilities, and visitor center, which is staffed most of the year by volunteers.

Mina, Nuevo León

Mina is town and municipality located in the Northwestern part of the northeastern Mexican state of Nuevo León. The population was 4,309 at the 2005 census. Its name honors Spaniard insurgent general Francisco Javier Mina, who fought for the Mexican side in the independence movement from Spain. Located at the northwestern part of the state of Nuevo León. Mina is a renowned tourist destination, for its mysticism and legends in the state of Nuevo León.

Nelson's pocket mouse

Nelson's pocket mouse (Chaetodipus nelsoni) is a species of rodent in the family Heteromyidae. It is found in Mexico and in New Mexico and Texas in United States. It is named in honor of the American naturalist Edward William Nelson.


Sonora (Spanish pronunciation: [soˈnoɾa] (listen)), officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Sonora (English: Free and Sovereign State of Sonora), is one of 31 states that, with Mexico City, comprise the 32 federal entities of United Mexican States. It is divided into 72 municipalities; the capital city is Hermosillo.

Sonora is bordered by the states of Chihuahua to the east, Baja California to the northwest and Sinaloa to the south. To the north, it shares the U.S.–Mexico border primarily with the state of Arizona with a small length with New Mexico, and on the west has a significant share of the coastline of the Gulf of California.

Sonora's natural geography is divided into three parts: the Sierra Madre Occidental in the east of the state; plains and rolling hills in the center; and the coast on the Gulf of California. It is primarily arid or semiarid deserts and grasslands, with only the highest elevations having sufficient rainfall to support other types of vegetation.

Sonora is home to eight indigenous peoples, including the Mayo, the O’odham, the Yaqui, and Seri. It has been economically important for its agriculture, livestock (especially beef), and mining since the colonial period, and for its status as a border state since the Mexican–American War. With the Gadsden Purchase, Sonora lost more than a quarter of its territory. From the 20th century to the present, industry, tourism, and agribusiness have dominated the economy, attracting migration from other parts of Mexico.

Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro

The Antonio Narro Agrarian Autonomous University or Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro in Spanish (UAAAN) is a public university in Mexico dedicated to the Agricultural, Silvicultural, Animal Production, food and Environmental Sciences. It is located 6 kilometers south of Saltillo, in the Mexican state of Coahuila. The Antonio Narro Agrarian Autonomous University is one of the most important agricultural college of America Latina and the "Narro" have national and international recognition in the agricultural and animal industry and the high academic level. There is also a campus in Torreón, Coahuila. It is also called "Universidad Antonio Narro" for short, or simply, "La Narro". In 2008 the UAAAN has an enrollment of about 4,500 students in both campuses, all in agriculture and related sciences.

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