S. Wats. ex Engelm. 1882
Agave bracteosa is a species of agave sometimes known as "spider agave".
Small among the agaves, its green succulent leaves are long and lanceolate, 50-70 cm long and 3-5 cm at the base, where they are the widest. They have minute serrations along the margins, no teeth, no spine at the end, and have a tendency to curl somewhat, in a fashion reminiscent of the octopus agave A. vilmoriniana. The inflorescence spike is also short at 1.2-1.7 meters, and its upper third is densely covered with white or pale yellow flowers. The flowers are distinctive in that tepals arise from a disk-shaped receptacle rather than the usual tube. The stamens are quite long.
Gentry defines a group "Choritepalae" that includes A. bracteosa along with Agave ellemeetiana and Agave guiengola, and states that the discoid receptacle and unarmed leaves are different enough from other agaves to justify placing A. bracteosa and A. ellemeetiana into a separate genus, but that characteristics of A. guiengola link the group to the rest of Agave.
- Howard Scott Gentry, Agaves of Continental North America (University of Arizona Press, 1982) pp. 91-93
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