Furcraea longaeva

Lush, five foot long green leaves make a massive rosette atop a well proportioned trunk. Fully developed crowns can have upwards of 300 leaves! Rare in cultivation, but easy to grow.
height 8–20ft
width 5–7ft
tolerates Coast, Cool Summers, Drought, Fog, Gophers, Heat, Pots, Neglect, Wind
Low – Moderate
Water this plant infrequently, when the top two inches or so of soil feel dry. Usually this will mean every week or two in dry weather. If you establish this pattern over several years, then you can cut back to watering every four to six weeks in dry weather. Use drippers, emitters, or a slow stream of water so that it doesn’t run off; allow the water to trickle all the way down through the deepest layers of soil. This plant will look more lush if given water every two to four weeks during dry weather once established. In a pot slowly water the entire surface until water comes out of the bottom of your pot.

We see this plant thriving without additional water (once established) along the coast where marine influences create fog drip.
exposure Part Shade – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Cactus Mix, In Pots: Cactus Mix, Tolerates Sandy Soil
fertilizing All Purpose, Low Needs
origin C Mexico
8, 9, 12–23

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

Leaves first emerge upright and erect and then droop and eventually dry to form a skirt along the trunk. If a skirt is not desired it is best to prune off the leaves before they dry and become more difficult to prune.
If a more narrow form is desired the leaves can be pruned off earlier, but generally the crown of this plant is quite wide and should be given space to fill out.
This plant may tolerate lower than 30F, as it comes from an elevation around 10,000 feet. This temperature is given as a reference of how plants have performed in cultivation.

Special Interest

As a final act (at an age of 15 to 45 years old) this plant produces an astronomical, branched flower spire that is 12 to 25 feet tall with pale green flowers. Unusually for Furcraea, this plant does not produce bulbils on its flower spikes. After this magnificent show, the plant fades and dies.

Plants sold under this name are often the more common Furcraea parmentieri. This plant is distinguished from F. parmentieri by having longer, thinner, greener leaves that are less frosty looking (glaucus). The shorter horizontal branches (instead of drooping) of the inflorescence are another distinguisher, along with this plant not making bulbils.

Some say this plant has the tallest flower spike on earth, with record plants having a forty foot tall spire!