Manfreda virginica

(Linnaeus) Salisbury ex Rose

Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 8: 19. 1903

Common names: Virginian agave rattlesnake master false aloe
Basionyms: Agave virginica Linnaeus Sp. Pl. 1: 323. 1753
Synonyms: Agave lata Shinners Agave tigrina (Engelmann) Cory Agave virginica var. tigrina Engelmann Manfreda tigrina (Shinners) Shinners Manfreda virginica subsp. lata (Shinners) O’Kennon, Diggs & Lipscomb Manfreda virginica var. tigrina (Engelmann) Rose Polianthes lata unknown Polianthes virginica unknown
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 463. Mentioned on page 462.
Click plate for higher resolution version.
Illustrator: Bee F. Gunn
Rhizomes cylindrical. Leaves spreading, semisucculent, 8–40(–47) × 0.5–6.5(–9.3) cm; blade usually spotted or speckled with maroon, shallowly channeled, oblanceolate to linear-lanceolate, margins entire or with cartilaginous prickles. Scape 4.5  13.8 dm. Inflorescences 14–68 cm, bearing 10–61 closely spaced flowers. Flowers sessile or pedicellate, nearly erect, slender, with sweet, fruity odor; tepals green; perianth tube 0.9–2.3 × 0.3–0.6 cm; limb lobes erect, 0.4–0.8 cm; filaments inserted near base of tube, bent in bud, exceeding tube by 1.2–3.1 cm; ovary 4–10 mm; style shorter than stamens, exceeding tube by 0.6–2.3 cm; stigma white, 3-lobed, lobes reflexed. Capsules globose, 1–1.7 cm diam. 2n = 60.

Phenology: Flowering summer–late summer, rarely in spring; fruiting late summer–early fall.
Habitat: Glades and open woods, on rocky and sandy soils, often on slopes
Elevation: 0–600 m


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Ala., Ark., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Ky., La., Miss., Mo., N.C., Ohio, Okla., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va., Mexico (Nuevo León, Tamaulipas).


Leaf shape and size in Manfreda virginica vary with soil type, amount of shade, length of cold period, and position of leaf in the rosette. Speckles and spots occur frequently on some leaves in most populations, and some authors have used the informal designation “forma tigrina” for such variants. Pollination is primarily by sphinx moths (S. E. Verhoek 1978).



Lower Taxa

No lower taxa listed.