Joe Hoak Must Be An Absolutely Wonderful Guy

Joe Hoak, whoever he is or was, must be, or must have been, an absolutely wonderful guy.

I'm sure of this solely due to the Agave named after him, which is possibly the most beautiful Agave of all. Agave 'Joe Hoak' is a color varient of A. desmettiana variegata. Here's A. desmettiana variegata, beautiful in itself, with a graceful formal shape and distinct yellow edges on the leaves:

And here is A. 'Joe Hoak', with his amazing addition of a frosted white overlay to yellow-edged leaves. Really stunning.

Could a plant so beautiful be named in honor of someone unloved, uncherished? Surely not. Joe Hoak, whoever you are, you are in august company now. Miss Wilmott has her "Ghost", Irene Nuss, her begonia, Barbra Streisand, her rose, but you have this:


  1. I've often wondered about some of the personalities behind the named cultivars. Now I'll never forget Joe Hoak!

  2. I met Joe Hoak recently and he is a charming older man, he has a nursery in Homestead, Florida, and this Hybrid is his creation.

  3. Joe Hoak was my father in law, I married his daughter Suzan. He died today at home peacefully. And yes he was an absolutely wonderful guy.

  4. Suzan, my sincere and heartfelt condolences to you and your family on the loss of your father-in-law. The beautiful Agave named for him will always have an honored place in my garden.

  5. What a gorgeous agave! Thanks for adding the link to Succulent Sunday. I love hearing stories about hybridizers and their plant creations.

  6. He was the greatest person I have ever meet. He was always ready for an adventure and up for trying new things. I had the joy of him being a very important part of my life for 17 years of my life, I am his granddaughter. -Alisha
    Hoak's Greenhouse and Nursery is in Homestead Fl. that is son currently owns please come visit (305)257-4200

  7. Gail, I just planted my Joe Hoak in a bed that's 5 feet wide. I'm wondering how wide yours is? (Did it ever bloom?)

    1. It's just under 4', so 5' should be fine. No, it still hasn't bloomed. I think it's waiting for rain. As are we all...

    2. Great! 4' is perfect. I have an Agave desmettiana 'Variegata' that is bigger than that, and I was beginning to worry.

      Rain? What is that? I think I used to know what that is, but it's been so long...


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