Agave lophantha

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Agave lophantha Schiede

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Order Asparagales
Family Asparagaceae
Genus Agave

2n =

Origin : Mexico, Texas

wild and cultivated

English thorn-crest agave, tampico
French tampico

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Uses summary


Popular names


Agave lophantha Schiede (1829)


  • Agave univittata Haw. (1831)
  • Agave heteracantha Zucc. (1833)

Gentry, H. S. 1982. Agaves of continental North America. pp. 154–157. says that Agave lechuguilla Torr. is the principal source of ixtle or Tampico fiber.



The name tampico is evidently a shortened version of Tampico hemp or chanvre de Tampico, which indicates that it was exported through the port of Tampico (Mexico), and probably grown in the State of Tamaulipas.


The fiber is still commonly used for brushes, under the name tampico. As a commercial website says: this "brush is made of tampico bristles, which are highly resistant to chemicals and have a perfect texture for scrubbing carpet and upholstery. Tampico fibers make an excellent scrub brush because they are naturally resistant to heat, chemicals, and liquids."

Winkler, Hubert, 1912. Botanisches Hilfsbuch für Pflanzer, Kolonialbeamte, Tropenkaufleute und Forschungsreisende. p. 12

35. Agave heteracantha, lechuguilla, lophanta, univittata. Amaryllidaceen im Hochland von Mexiko. Hauptsächlichste Stammpflanzen der Ixtle-, Istle- oder Ixtili-Faser. Die Pflanzen in ihrer Heimat Lechuguilla genannt. Die Faser ist grob und kurz, aber stark. Ixtle de Tula 30—50 cm, Ixtle de Jaumave 110 cm lang. Produktion und Ausfuhr in den letzten Jahren beständig gestiegen. Nach dem wichtigsten Exporthafen Tempico wird die Faser auch als Tempicohanf, Tempico hemp, Tempico fibre, Tempico grass, Crin de Tampico bezeichnet. Hauptsächlich zur Herstellung von Bürsten und Tauen, auch von Säcken zum Erztransport aus den Bergwerken benutzt. Für Deutsch-S.-W.-Afr. zur Kultur empfohlen.

Perrot, Emile, 1943-1944. Matières premières usuelles, p. 632.

Ixtle ou Tampico, Ag. heteraxantha Zucc.

Les Agaves à petites feuilles, dont l'inflorescence est en épi ont des aiguillons marginaux implantés sur une sorte de liséré corné qu'on peut séparer tout d'une pièce du reste du limbe ; la filasse est plus courte et plus grosse que chez les précédentes espèces ; c'est le "chanvre de Tampico", surtout utilisé en brosserie.

Quant au terme Ixtle, il s'applique surtout à la filasse de divers Yucca et Bromelia.

Grupo interoceánico Cala

We are producers and dealers of tampico fiber, also known as Mexico fibre, pita mexicana or ixtle. from Alibaba

Tampico Fiber is made from a plant unique to the semi-desertic areas of northern Mexico , the Agave Lechugilla. It has been exported for centuries all over the world to manufacture cords, ropes and stricks or to be used as a filler in the brush making industries for brushes, scrubbers and brooms for industrial and personal use.

The natural color of the Fiber is creamy white, but it is often dyed other colors. Tampico Fiber has great liquid holding and release properties - it will absorb 65% more water than plastic fillings. It has a unique surface roughness due to crystals of calcium oxalate embedded in the surface. There is really no plastic substitute for Tampico Fiber. The fiber is unsurpassed in most general sweeping applications, and in all applications requiring liquid retention, scrubbing and surface finishing. from the commercial site. See good photos of processing