All The Agaves 2016
All the Agaves: fifty five different kinds, give or take a few. Because there are so many, the photos are in "small" format--if you want a closer look, click on each photo to enlarge.
Agave albopilosa and a dwarf, rapidly offsetting form of Agave victoriae-reginae:
Agave americana 'Medio Picta Aurea'. I've been expecting it to bloom for two or three years, but it pups on.
Agave asperrima (aka A. scabra), tiny rootless offsets picked up in Phoenix. Now rooted, where to put them?
Agave attenuata 'Karas Stripes'--not particularly stripe-y--you can just make out a few here and there
Agave 'Blue Flame', looking green, is still settling in after a move.
This 'Blue Flame' needs to be moved. I went looking for it to move it, and couldn't find it. There it is!
This is the striated form of 'Blue Flame'. Unfortunately it has been a weak grower.
'Blue Glow', a favorite. These are close to blooming, unfortunately. If this plant never bloomed, it would be absolutely totally perfect. But no plant is, so it must bloom and die.
The white-edged variant, 'Snow Glow'. The photo shows how planting on a slope affects the shape.
The yellow-edged variant, 'Sun Glow', also affected by being grown on a slope. In nature many species of Agaves are found on slopes, or growing from fissures in cliffs. Slopes are natural habitat for them.
This is 'Blue Ember' from Rancho Soledad, damaged by this summer's intense heat. I expected to see it for retail sale, never did, so I'm glad I bought one when I saw it.
A. bracteosa marginated, 'Ivory Frost', in full shade. It needs a better spot. Must move. I placed it here when it was very small, at the start of a long dry summer, so it would survive.
Some of the many A. desmetianas. When the inflorescences start producing plantlets, there will be thousands. This species was the first one we got for the garden. These plants were plantlets from the blooms of the first.
These next three were super-variegated plantlets from the same bloom as the above big plants. This illustrates how variegation will dramatically slow a plant's growth.
There were about a dozen fully variegated plantlets, but only these three retained that trait.
The beautiful desmetiana variant, 'Joe Hoak', still a favorite for its elegant shape and striking pale coloration. 'Joe Hoak' was also one of the first Agaves we purchased.
A. ellemetiana, growing in full shade. Similar to attenuata, with fewer but larger leaves.
A. gentryi 'Jaws' (Thanks, DM or was it KP?):
A. guiengola. The version with pale-yellow margins, 'Creme Brulee' is more common for some reason. For other some reason, I like the plain species more. The beauty is ruined by offsets, so I religiously pull them off. This is true of many Agave species--the offsets clutter the shape of the original plant. I prefer taxa of solitary habit. In cultivation, many though not all solitaries will produce an offset or two--just enough for replacement or gifts.
A. gypsophila 'Ivory Curls'. Another favorite.
The plain version of gypsophila. It's nice, too--'Ivory Curls' is just better.
A. havardiana. Extremely slow-growing, it's a beautiful species when it reaches mature size. Still small after several years in the ground, it is recovering from having been engulfed by a clump of fast spreading Cistanthe.
A. horrida ssp. perotensis. Sweet!
'Kissho Kan', a variant of potatorum (Thanks, AZ!):
A. lophantha 'Fatal Attraction', in exile on the balcony because lophantha offsets like crazy. If you don't believe me...
...consider A. lophantha 'Quadricolor'. Yes, it offsets like crazy, but this has proven to be a perfect small Agave for the near-vertical section of the east side slope--it holds the slope firmly, and the rosettes grow and looks beautiful on rainfall alone--rainfall which this past year was a measly 6". Pup on!
Update: I knew I'd miss at least one. Unintentionally omitted was Agave macroacantha 'Pablo's Choice', which can perform the same slope-filling service as A. lophantha. The terminal spines age to rich black, a delicious contrast to the blue foliage.
The from-a-farm-in-Vera-Cruz version of A. marmorata. Another favorite. Maybe the favorite.
On of its two offsets is thriving. The other needs to get out of the shade already!
Here's the other offset, out of the shade. It was a tiny thing when I pulled it off the original, the size of my little fingernail, so I planted it in full shade so it would survive summer. Now it has a tiny offset of its own. Because the plant was growing in shade, it is super blue.
Here's the Proven Winners version of marmorata. It's preparing to bloom at 6' tall and about 7' wide. It has one offset, hidden on the back side, ready to replace it.
Agave 'Mateo', possibly a cross of bracteosa and lophantha. This one has been growing roots in full shade, hence an odd look.
Another 'Mateo' (Thanks, GB!), this one also waiting in shade for a place in the sun in the ground where there is moisture, and nutrients. Things plants like.
A well-travelled Agave mitis var albidior, which started off in Davis, spent some time in Portland, returned, wet and chilled, to Davis, and is now recovering here. I think it's still wondering what happened.
Supposedly this next one is a cross of A. mitis (fast, wimpy) with A. montana (slow, hardy). It's a rich blue, bluer than the photo. Known as A. mitis 'Nova', it's a beautiful plant but very short-lived (3-4 years), though it produces a few offsets. (Note that Agave attenuata 'Nova' is a completely different plant.)
Minimal water slows down growth and extends its life span.
A. mitis (or celsii) 'Multicolor' is also short-lived. I have a whole shopping bag full of plantlets, (Thanks, KD!) if anyone is interested. From what I have read, this plant is not a variegated version of the true Agave mitis--it is different in leaf shape and flower. Apparently a plant of mysterious origins.
'Mr. Ripple' (Thanks, DM!), thought to be a cross between A. salmiana and A. americana ssp protoamericana. This one gets BIG. It's been given considerable space to become glorious.
A. nizandensis. Like A. bracteosa, the leaves are brittle and will snap off easily, so best left as undisturbed as possible. It is reported sensitive to over watering--not a problem in this garden.
Agave ovatifolia is one of several Agaves being overwhelmed by Leucospermum 'Yellow Bird', but it is the Agave possibly able to withstand the onslaught: big and getting bigger.
One of several A. parrasanas. Another slow growing beauty.
As the plant grows the leaves become more vertical
This is the variegated variant known as 'Fire Ball'. This particular plant doesn't have much variegation, but it's a beauty anyway.
Just a bit of yellow edging here and there, but ah, those impressions!
Always flawless A. parryi truncata. Never seems to get marked, spotted, or even dirty.
Here's the variegated version, which started out really green, purchased at the 2016 Inter-City Show. It has blued up as it has grown.
Agave x pumila needs out of that pot. A plant of mysterious origins. It may be A. lechuguilla × A. victoriae-reginae. There are a couple in the ground at the Huntington, looking really good (and surprisingly large).
Here's a big x pumila at the Huntington April 2015:
I'm tempted to plant mine in the ground, to see if it can develop that kind of size. It may need protection from winter rains (if we ever get any) as it is said to be sensitive to water from above.
Agave pygmae 'Dragon Toes'. Another very pretty plant. Its sole offset can be seen at upper-ish right.
'Royal Spine' (Thanks, GB!)
Sold as Agave salmiana 'Medio Picta', this one has been slow slow slow, but it's a looker, and has produced a few offsets.
Agave sebastiana 'Silver Lining' is said to be extremely xeric, but it has struggled in a dry spot. I tweaked the irrigation so sebastiana would get some water--hopefully it will help.
Agave 'Shadow Dancer' is said to be a variant of a cross between A. filifera and A. mitis var albidior.
I had bought a trio of Agave stricta var nana. One bloomed, then I pulled out all three--this was the sole offset of one. It's healthier than it looks--it was overwhelmed by Leucadendron linearifolia all summer--I've been trimming back the Leucadendron to give the Agave some sun.
Aloe titanota from Bach's in AZ. To its upper left is a more blue selection, another plant being engulfed by Leucospermum 'Yellow Bird'. The Leucospermum is growing like mad and forming flower buds like mad and will present a stunning show come late March.
Agave titanota 'White Ice'
Agave titanota 'Wanky Lanky', a green dwarf version
Agave toumeyana 'Bella' (Thanks, GB!), planted in shade until it can do some growing. This has worked out well--tiny plants can't handle full sun even here near the coast.
Agave victoriae-reginae. Another slow grower, this one like A. havardiana is at its most beautiful when it reaches mature size.
Agave vilmoriniana 'Stained Glass', another favorite, with those elegant curving leaves. A neighbor has an enormous and far more gorgeous specimen, which I am entirely justified in envying. Must get a good photo of that one, for your viewing pleasure.
I have a lot of favorites in this genus. A couple that would be nice to have are bovicornuta and colorata--have not yet found the plants at the right size (small) and price (small) to buy. Sometime.
With this much beauty to admire, I'm good for a while.