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Agave ‘Blue Flame’ (photo courtesy of Linda Lamb Peters)
Agave ‘Blue Flame’ (photo courtesy of Linda Lamb Peters)

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Zone
Zones 13, 20-29, H1, H2
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Minimal Water
Minimal

Agave desmettiana

Agavaceae
Cacti and succulents, Perennials

AGAVE

Sculptural succulents with rosettes of fleshy leaves. Impressive, sometimes colorful, flower stalk emerges from the rosette’s center looking something like a giant asparagus; some kinds produce clusters of flowers on side branches, while others have flowers packed along the stalk. After flowering—which may not occur for years—the foliage clump dies, usually leaving behind suckers that make new plants.

These plants shrivel from serious drought but plump up again with watering or rainfall. Provide good drainage. Species listed here are native to Mexico, except as noted.

Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ (photo courtesy of Monrovia)
Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ (photo courtesy of Monrovia)

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Agave desmettiana

Graceful and upright, this plant grows to 2–3 ft. tall and wide. Arching blue-green to yellow-green leaves are tipped with a dark brown terminal spine; few if any teeth. When young, the plant forms offsets that grow nearly as large as the original rosette by the time it blooms. Leaves of ‘Variegata’ are edged in bright yellow. Takes full sun or partial shade on the coast; sun or shade in low desert areas.

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