Rev. Hort., 580. 1858.
Plants often forming colonies of rosettes, arborescent, to 7 m; rosettes with leaves hanging at various angles, giving an overall ragged appearance. Stems 1–8, occasionally 2–5-branched, 14–15 cm diam. Leaf blade erect, yellowish to bluish green, usually U- or V-shaped in cross section, thick, 36–128 × 1.6–7 cm, rigid, scabrous, margins entire, filiferous with straight, coarse fibers, light brown. Inflorescences erect, paniculate, arising mostly within rosettes, variable in shape, usually ovoid, 18 dm, glabrous, rarely slightly pubescent; peduncle scapelike, 0.3 m or longer. Flowers pendent; perianth globose; tepals distinct, cream-colored, occasionally tinged with purple, ovate, 2.7–8.1 × 1–3.4 cm, apex rounded or acute; filaments 1–2.7 cm, short-pubescent proximally; anthers 1–6 mm; pistil 1.5–3.5 × 0.5–1 cm; ovary 1.3–3.3 cm; style 2–8 mm; stigmas distinct. Fruits pendent, baccate, indehiscent, 4.4–18.7 × 1.8–4.6 cm, fleshy, succulent. Seeds black, 5–14 mm diam., 1–5 mm thick.
Phenology: Flowering mid winter–spring.
Habitat: Grassy or rocky slopes or mesas, brushland, chaparral
Elevation: 0–1600 m
N.Mex., Tex., n Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas).