The Karwinskii species is large and bountiful, especially in its homeland of Oaxaca where different varieties have very different names which may even overlap with other species. It has a wood trunk and the pencas are usually concentrated on the top two thirds of the plant. The pencas are narrow and dark green, with sharp needles at the tips. It can grow up to 3.5 meters or 12 feet and can grow in very dry conditions. It reproduces via seed, bulbilo and hijuelo and generally flowers from June to September. While classified as a silvestre or wild agave, there are several projects underway to semi-cultivate different varieties.
Common varieties in the species include Cuixe, Bicuixe, Madrecuixe Blanco (same as madre-cuixe in parts of zona refrescadera), Madrecuixe, Verde, Cirial, Largo, Tripon, Marteño ( *origin – Santa Marta Chichihualtepec), San Martinero (*origin – San Martin Lachilá, Sim- ilar or same as Barril in Zona Refrescadera), Verde, Pata de Borrego, Barreno, al-mal-bi-cuish (chontal), dob-cirial, madrecuixe, tobasiche (zapoteco), cachutum (popoloca)
Tripon is grown almost exclusively in Santa Catarina Minas. In Santa Catarina Minas Tobasiche is frequently called “largo.”