Regularity: Regularly occurring
Global Range: Endemic to a narrow range in Arizona (Arizona ranking form 1/99).
Comments: Usually found atop high benches, which are often south- or southwest-facing, or on open hilly slopes, which can be more gentle and are sometimes northeast-facing. Sites often overlook major drainage systems and perennial streams. Soils are gravelly or cobbly, deep, and well-drained; underlying substrate is often conglomerate, sometimes limestone. Plant community is usually Sonoran desert scrub, occasionally Interior Chaparral, Great Basin Conifer (pinyon-juniper) Woodland, or juniper-grassland. Associated species include Carnegiea gigantea, Prosopis sp., Juniperus sp., Gutierrezia sp., Fouqueria splendeus, Calliandra eriophylla, Menodora scabra, Echinocereus fasciculatus var. fasciculatus, Echinocereus fasciculatus var. bonkerae, Erodium cicutarium, and occasionally Rhus trilobata, Opuntia engelmannii, Canotia holacantha, Yucca baccata, and Psilostrophe sp. Often found in or near archaeological features of the Mogollon, Salado, and Hohokam cultures, including multi-room foundations, and also above check dams and linear alignments. 670 - 1600 m.
Life History and Behavior
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N2 - Imperiled
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Known from approximately 70 plants in the Tonto Basin in Gila County, Arizona. No fertile seed is produced. (Center for Plant Conservation 1991 Accession Proposal, T. Ecker, 1 Dec 1990)
Global Short Term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Comments: Tuzigoot population will probably die off (Arizona ranking form 1/99).
Agave delamateri is a species of plant in the agave subfamily, Agavoideae. It is known by the common names Tonto Basin agave and Rick's agave. It is endemic to central Arizona in the United States. It is generally found on gravelly soils in desert scrub and sometimes pinyon-juniper woodland, often near Mogollon or Salado archaeological sites.
Agave delamateri is an acaulescent (trunkless) species forming rosettes up to 100 cm (40 inches) in diameter. Leaves are up to 70 cm (28 inches) long, with a waxy coat giving them a bluish-green appearance. Leaves are well-armed, with teeth along the margins and on the tip. The flowering stalk can be up to 6 m (20 feet) tall, with flowers cream-colored with a greenish tinge. 
This species is only known from a population of about 70 to 90 individuals in Gila, Maricopa, and Yavapai Counties in Arizona. These plants are all clones producing no fertile seed. The mature plant reproduces by sprouting "pups" from its base. The oldest existing mature clones may be hundreds of years old and there is practically no variation between them. The clones may be descendents of a cultivated population bred by pre-Columbian peoples.
- Hodgson, W. C. and L. Slauson. (1995). Agave delamateri (Agavaceae) and its role in the subsistence patterns of Pre-Columbian cultures in Arizona. Haseltonia 3 130-40.
- Agave delamateri. Plant Abstracts. Arizona Game and Fish Department.
- NatureServe. 2014. Agave delamateri. NatureServe Explorer. Accessed September 14, 2014.
- Agave delamateri. Flora of North America v26, p460.
Names and Taxonomy
Comments: Name Agave delamateri accepted in Kartesz 1999 'Synthesis'; May be the "Agave sp. nov./ined." of Federal Register, Jan. 1998 (unclear if intent was for name Agave "delamateri" or A. "tontobasiensis"; both names were in informal circulation but unpubished at that time).
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