As its common name implies, the Artichoke Agave resembles an artichoke. It has short blue-gray leaves and grows 2-3 feet tall and 2-4 feet wide. With dark reddish-brown teeth along its margins and a terminal spine, the flowers initially appear pink or red, then turn a golden yellow color.

The artichoke agave eventually produces a tall 15-20 foot flower spike. After blooming, the mother plant will die, however, this agave produces many offsets and tends to form large colonies.

It is native to southern Chihuahua and northern Durango in Mexico. This agave can be planted in containers and rock gardens, as an accent plant, or in masses or groupings with other desert natives. Its water needs are very low, its growth rate is slow, and it likes full sun but can also grow in partial shade.