Nevada Public Radio Listen Live

"KNPR's State of Nevada"
Facebook Twitter Follow Nevada Public Radio

Support Nevada Public Radio
September 07, 2004
Podcasts

Listen

Some of my Favorite Agaves

The genus of Agave is a large genus of plants, with some 800+ species (or so I've heard). They are generally very drought tolerant, love full sun, but can adapt to fairly dense shade. As a group, few other genus of plants are as bold and beautiful as the Agaves. Here's a list of some of my favorites, all of which are in my yard (with the exception of Zebra, which is in a pot, waiting for me to find its perfect place in my yard).

Agave American Rossmore

Agave Americana (American Agave): The largest and boldest of the Agaves in my yard. At maturity, it is 6 to 7 feet tall, and 7 to 8 feet around. It has a very blue leaf color, and produces multiple 'pups' at the base, and when it flowers, also produces pups on the flower stalk.

Agave Utahensis

Agave utahensis var. nevadensis (Nevada Agave): Our native Agave, found growing wild in the region. Small in size, reaching only 10 to 16 inches around and 8 to 12 inches tall.

Agave vilmoriniana

Agave vilmoriniana (Octopus Agave): This species is notable for the soft 'double-s' curves to the leaves, and the spines are less of a problem than with most. It reaches a size of 3 feet tall and about 4 feet around.

Agave zebra

Agave zebra (Zebra Agave): Approximately 2 to 3 feet tall and wide, this species is noted for the wildly twisted spines on the margins of the leaves, and a strong imprint on the leaf from the leaves that were inside of it during development. This is a remarkably beautiful and bold species.

Agave victoriae-reginae

Agave victoriae-reginae (Queen Victoria Agave): A smaller species, reaching only about 2 feet around at full maturity, and 12 to 16 inches tall. This species is notable for the oddly placed white stripes, giving a surreal and almost 'painted' look to this plant.

Agave geminiflora

Agave geminiflora (Twin-flowered Agave): With thinner leaves than most, this species appears to be an almost a perfect ball of foliage. There are whitish 'hairs' positioned on the edge of the leaves, just a few, and spaced evenly in the interior, giving it an extra visual 'oomph'. It reaches 2 to 3 feet tall and wide.

Agave medio-picta

Agave medio-picta 'Alba' (Variegated Agave): This species has a broad white stripe to the middle of each leaf. It is striking and awesome. It reaches around 3 feet in height and width.

Agave parryi var. huachucensis

Agave parryi var. huachucensis (Parry's Agave): This is the Agave I use most often in landscapes, both for new landscapes and renovations. It is very blue, and has black spines on the tip and margins of leaves. Very bold. It reaches 18 to 24 inches in height and width. The variety 'parryi' has narrower leaves, while the leaves of 'huachucensis' are wider. I prefer the wider leaved variety, though all are beautiful.

See discussion rules.

Archives

NormApr 22, 2014 | The Right Plants
Our current warm spell gives the impression that some plants can thrive when they aren't really suited to our desert. Norm Schilling has some examples.

NormMar 24, 2014 | Spring Garden Party
Spring is here and the garden is blooming . . . so invite some friends to enjoy the rewards of gardening!

AngelaMar 10, 2014 | Lady Banks
If you love roses, but don't care for thorns, you may want to call on 'Lady Banks.' Here's Angela O'Callaghan with Desert Bloom.

NormFeb 26, 2014 | Signs of Spring
It may be February, but if you are paying attention, signs of Spring are visible. Dwarf peach and Mexican plum trees are in bloom. Vibrant Red Spraxis can be seen among the falling Almond blossom. Watch gardening expert Norm Schilling transplant an offshoot. Check out the slide show of photos taken from his backyard.

AngelaFeb 18, 2014 | Mulch is for Winter
Rewards for using mulch in your landscape can be had year-round. Mulch is about mulch more than just "good looks" according to Angela O' Callaghan. In any climate, and certainly in a desert, mulch is an ecologically sound way to conserve our limited soil moisture and to control weeds.

NormFeb 4, 2014 | Investing for Spring
Temperatures are scheduled to stay cool this week, but Norm Schilling finds his yard is ready for Spring. He reflects on techniques to keep older trees healthy even as the surrounding yard may change. Bigger, older trees may need more water.

AngelaJan 13, 2014 | Freezing Temps
If your garden looks like it's been zapped by Jack Frost, there's still a chance that all is not lost. Delicate desert plants can suffer chill damage even when the temperature stays above freezing. Well-established plants should survive.

NormDec 31, 2013 | Leave the Leaves
Just because most of the leaves have fallen from the trees, it doesn't mean you have to rake them all up. Norm Schilling says it's better to use the leaves as mulch to protect the plants and make rich soil. Some woody plants can be pruned now, while others should wait another month or two.

AngelaDec 13, 2013 | Winter Greens
It is the season to enjoy some winter gardening. In Southern Nevada, a cold-snap does not have to mean that your garden is done for. Angela O'Callaghan gives a few cold facts.

NormDec 3, 2013 | Winter Watering
After a recent rain followed by a cold snap this week, Norm Schilling digs in to figure out how much water is needed this time of year. Touch the leaves to get a feel and don't water much at all for the next few months.

AngelaNov 18, 2013 | Herb Gardens
Our desert environment may be hard to handle for many plants, but it is possible to grow your own herbal remedy. The healing properties of some herbs are still widely recognized. Even though we rarely have to rely on them to deal with our infirmities, Angela O'Callaghan says many herbs are pretty and simple to grow.

NormNov 5, 2013 | Fall Color
Our second Spring is in full bloom. Norm Schilling shares his favorite plants that are bringing color to the yard right now, including Chocolate Flower, Mexican Bush Sage, Autumn Sage and ornamental grasses.

AngelaOct 29, 2013 | Pumpkins
Halloween just wouldn't be the same without the jack-o-lantern. But there's more to the tradition of decorating squash than meets the eye. Angela O'Callaghan says pumpkins are more than decorations for a single day. They're food, and a very good food at that.

NormSep 30, 2013 | Fall Pruning and Mulching
Pruning for aesthetics and mulching for rich soil quality are on his to-do list before he gets started in earnest on fall planting. Find out where to find mulch and mulch more on this week's edition of Desert Bloom.

AngelaSep 17, 2013 | The Best Place to Garden
The Mojave Desert isn't the easiest place to cultivate a garden, but we do have a few advantages here. In fact, Angela O'Callaghan says Southern Nevada is the BEST place in the world to be a gardener, partly because dry air helps keep our plants healthy.

NormSep 3, 2013 | Sacred Datura
Sacred Datura is a native, but poisonous, desert plant that offers stunning blooms. Often seen at the side of the highway, it's found a home in Norm's yard.

AngelaAug 20, 2013 | Drought
Living in the desert means - learning to live with less water. The more thought you put into watering, the better off your plants will be.

NormAug 6, 2013 | Casualties of Summer
Ever the optimist, Norm finds something to learn from the casualties of summer.

AngelaJul 22, 2013 | White Prickly Poppy
Is a poppy by any other name just a weed?

NormJul 9, 2013 | Agave
Agave is well suited to our desert climate. Norm Schilling shares his collection.

© 2013 NEVADA PUBLIC RADIO   
Web hosting facilities provided by Switch.