Thursday, June 26, 2008

Agave desmettiana variegata

Now that the California poppies have been removed it is time for the Agave to enjoy a place of prominence for the rest of the summer.
This part of the garden has been home to 3 different plants. First came a rosemary plant which quickly grew to an enormous size. Out it came and was replaced by an Agave desmettiana variegata-not the one that is there today. Winter came, and despite the man at the cactus and succulent sale telling us it was hardy for Austin, it was not. It melted in the frost but left behind about 10 offspring which I immediately potted up. What to put in this spot-ah what about a variegated Miscanthus I thought. Mistake. It soon outgrew the spot and not only that but as result of enjoying the elegant plumes in the winter it seeded everywhere. It was removed this spring with much effort and leaving a gaping hole. Just the spot for one of the Agaves that was quickly outgrowing its pot. I'm not going to worry about losing it this winter because I have plenty more as a result of its pup making. I have never seen an agave produce so many offspring. Certainly the Agave parryi which I purchased several years ago only gave me 3 years before it sent up its flower spike and died. It never produced one pup.

I hope that someone will be able to identify this cactus for me. Purchased at the same time as the original Agave it flowered for the first time this year. Tiny pink flowers in profusion. On the garden tour someone asked if I might cut off a section for him! I don't have great success with cactus having a tendency to over water them.

 

This succulent is also beginning to flower. Another one I would like to know the name of. 

15 comments:

  1. Agave demettiana seems to grow endless pups, but not as many as Agave angustifolia 'Marginata'. I quite potting up the pups as I had so many, and I've given away dozens. If you don't get them when they are young, it really ruins the looks of the main Agave and actually deforms them. I am guilty of waiting too long and then having to put up with the results.
    The cactus looks like Mammillaria karwinskiana ssp. nejapensis at first glance, but the flowers on your specimen are pinker than usual for this species, so I may be completely off on this one.

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  2. Thanks Aiyana. I took a look at the Mammillarias and had no idea of the variety. I did find some pink ones but they seemed to have larger flowers.
    I have given away lots of Agave pups too-some are even planted in my son's garden. We would call that taking "coals to Newcastle" but I know they are quite expensive to buy and I have them aplenty.
    I bet you often visit the Desert Botanic Garden- I always go there when I have the chance.
    Jenny

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  3. Hi Jenny, check out Mammillaria scrippsiana. I did some more research and this species might better match your nice specimen.
    Aiyana

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  4. Close but the flowers are not very big on mine. Had a look through them all and can't find one that is exactly the same.
    i appreciate the time you took to look.
    jenny

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  5. I have no idea what kind of cactus that is you have in that pot, but it is fabulous! I absolutely LOVE it and I wish I had one of my own ;)

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  6. I love that agave and will have to give one a try somewhere. The terminal spikes don't look too spiky. Are they?

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  7. Oh, thanks for this post! I quite admired that agave when I visited your garden this spring, and wasn't sure of its variety or hardiness. They just got a few in at the nearest Home Depot, so now I have no excuse!

    Out of curiosity, though: How long did it take for the agave by your pool to reach its current size?

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  8. You can't go wrong with the this agave because you can always dig it out in the fall and pot it up removing the pups. AS Aiyana says it gets a little untidy if you don't remove those pups. It has pretty dangerous spines but I just cut off the tip.
    They grow quickly when given water although you need to back off for the winter. This one was in a pot last year and planted in the ground this spring. They are fast growers. In a pot they prefer a little shade in the afternoons.
    Don't confuse with Agave americana variegata. They look similar.
    Jenny

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  9. The succulent in the last picture looks like a "carrion flower".. Stapelia, I'm not sure which one.
    They use flies to pollinate, so they smell terrible!

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  10. Like the one I have on my balcony, and found here: www.hiltonpond.org/ThisWeek060522.html, I think the succulent in the last one is a Stapelia Mutabilis (Carrion Flower) as Karen said...

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  11. Just reading your old posts. The succulent with the tiny red flowers is a huernia macrocarpa. I had the guys at Cactus Blog identify it for me. Mine is blooming nicely.

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  12. Siesta sister- Thanks for looking this up. I had identified it in 2009 as Huernia schneideriane. It certainly checks out with the pictures. Take a look and see what you think. Mine does grow to enormous lengths so is perfect as a medusa's snakes.

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  13. I have this same cactus, love it!

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  14. Jenny, I was at the nursery this weekend and came across agave desmetiana for the first time. I was very interested in buying it, but I held off so that I could do some online research, and, how funny, I came across your old blog entry. You've probably written about this plant at least a few times since I started following your blog, but I've never clue into it until now.
    I love the form of the plant, and I was attracted to the fact that the tag said it would prefer bright shade to hot Texas sun. I've been looking for something sculptural for filtered sun front yard. Maybe I've found my answer.
    I am worried about cold hardiness, but I'll probably follow your example and pot up some pups each year. You wouldn't happen to have any pups that you'd be willing to mail to San Antonio, would you? I'd show my appreciation by sending you seeds from my blue pea vine http://flic.kr/p/anmXVo and purple Hyacinth vine http://flic.kr/p/aCwRZf?

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    Replies
    1. Abbey, Just extracted some pups yesterday. Send me your address and Ill send them to you. I would like some blue pea vine seeds. Email is on the right at the top.

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