Dwarf butterfly agave (Agave isthmensis) is a miniature blue-leaved agave long misidentified in collections, it has been somewhat of a problematic species often considered merely one of many forms of Agave pototarum, and populations of this species are often found right next to populations of Agave potatorum with some intermediate forms seen as well. This plant is monocarpic but offsets readily, but suckers tend to remain very close by mother plant.
Compact with tightly packed interlacing leaves with the individual rosettes not taller than 30 cm by an equal width. Leaves are powder grey-blue, icy blue with very broad, 10-13 cm long by 5-7 cm inch wide, ovate that narrow towards the base and at their widest near the tip. The margins have shallow crenate lobes with prominent dark reddish-brown or black teeth. The dark brown to black sharp terminal spine contrasts beautifully with the powder blue leaves.
The flower stalk can reach to 1,5-2,5 m tall with about 20 short side branches, flowers are yellow nearly 5 cm long. This is a small growing species and waterwise. Plant in full coastal sun or filtered to part sun inland, but potted plant will burn easily leaving weird necrotic patches if suddenly exposed to sun. It is half-hardy and can tolerate light frost, but if frost is expected, cover plants with a towel or blanket. This Agave grows best in a soil with good drainage. Rockeries or container growing will suit this plant. It is well adapted for container cultivation.