Agave ferdinandi-regis


In the 17th century, the Agave ferdinandi-regis was "discovered" by the Spaniards. At this time, indigenous peoples were utilizing them as a source of fibres, food and for the manufacturing of a Tequila-like drink. Fibres were used to make clothing and ropes. Most of the Agave plant was consumed both raw and cooked. Moreover, both the flower's stem and flowers were used as a food source after being roasted or boiled.

This slow growing Agave is indigenous to a series of mountains north-east of Saltillo in northwestern Mexico. It was named to honor King Ferdinand of Bulgaria. This Agave is commonly mistaken for the beautiful Agave victoria-reginae. All in all, these two plants have distinctly different characteristics. The A. victoria-reginae has silver colored margins while the A. ferdinandi-regis sports dark reddish brown edges. It takes on a less compact form than the A. victoriae-reginae. Leaves are fewer in numbers, more loosely arranged, more tapering, wider and a little heavier/thicker. Additionally, this plant grows to nearly twice the size of the A. victoriae-reginae (1' 6" approximate width/height).

Flowers are paired, taking on varying colors (typically shades of purple-red). Requires well-draining soil. Thrives in light shade to full sun. It is best to provide afternoon shade during the hottest summer month to avoid sun damage. During the winter months, keep dry. The Agave ferdinandi-regis is hardy down to approximately 14° F (especially when kept dry). In colder regions it is best to cultivate this species in a pot to provide them protection from the elements.During the spring and summer months, water regularly. Do not water again until the soil has next to no moisture left in it. Use a water-soluble, potassium-rich fertilizer. Fertilize twice annually, once in April and once in July. Requires good ventilation.

Plant Details
USDA Zone Information: 
hardy down to approximately 14° F (especially when kept dry)
Ideal Light Conditions: 
Light shade to full sun
Ideal Water Conditions: 
Moderate in summer/Dry in winter
Speed of Growth: 
Mature Height: 
1' 6"
Mature Width: 
1' 6"
Latin Name: 
Agave ferdinandi-regis
Common Name: 
Pinguino, King Ferdinand Agave, King of the Agaves, King Agave, King Ferdinand's Agave

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Corporate Clients (The King hangs hard)


RoboCop (1987)
RoboCop 2 (1990)
Hot Pursuit (2015)


USA Network's Queen of the South (2019)

Botanical Gardens:

New York Botanical Gardens
Oklahoma City Zoo/Botanical Gardens
Mercer Arboretum in Houston, Texas
Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan


Houston, TX Zoo
San Antonio, TX Zoo

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Houston, TX Rodeo

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