Monday, December 17, 2007

Agave desmetiana Hybrid

One of the most beautiful of the Agave species is the A. desmetiana (also spelled desmettiana.) It has a graceful, curved shape that adds softness to surrounding cacti and succulents. This A. desmetiana hybrid has the same vase shape as the desmetiana, but the leaves are a lighter green color, and instead of smooth leaf margins, this one has small, pliant teeth.

A. desmetiana is one of the smaller Agaves, and it does better if given a north or east exposure in the Phoenix area. It freely offsets. This Agave is one of those that will die once it blooms. The offsets provide the opportunity to have replacement plants. Flowering usually doesn't occur until the plant is about ten years old, at which time it will send up an 8 to 10 feet tall panicle with yellow flowers.

This species looks wonderful in large containers. To read about the regular A. desmetiana, see this earlier post.


Anonymous said...

Aiyana, my boss had to remove some blue-ish agaves on his just-purposed property. He said the milk from the leaves caused a burning/itching sensation that intensified when he tried to wash it off. Over time, the sensation faded. Is this common to agaves or specific varieties?

I do love the sculptural shapes of agaves.

MrBrownThumb said...

It does have a very graceful shape sorta like an O'Keefe painting.

Julie said...

This one is very the shade of green!

Anonymous said...

Just reread my comment - I meant to say "just purchased property"... and thanks for your reply. Turns out he had a friend helping him and they both had fairly severe reactions that lasted a few hours. But some hydrocortisone helped relieve the burning and itching and they've had no lasting effect.