In 2009 we introduced you to agave Victoria regina, agave geminiflora and agave attenuate. We start 2010 with another agave which is not well known in this country: agave desmettiana.
As we have stated previously, the agaves comprise up to 250 varieties of plant and are found in the wild in Mexico, the USA and Central America. All varieties share thick, meaty, succulent-type leaves which are produced in the form of rosettes. Most agaves are monocarps – they flower once and then die. There are over 125 types of agave in Mexico and one of these is agave desmettiana which has the softest, most elegant leaves of all the agaves.
It’s homeland is Mexico where it is not found in the east of the country. All of the agave desmettiana which now grow throughout western USA and Europe originate from the Sartorius Gardens located in El Mirador in Veracruz province.
Mature leaves of this plant form a rosette 60 – 90cm in diameter. The leaves are wide and soft, harder at the narrow point where they join the trunk of the plant. The leaves grow upwards and their upper stages take on a spout-like shape within which is a small trough in which water collects. Leaves can be a range of different greens in colour, from a bright green to a more bluey green.
Most specimens have smooth sided leaves but sometimes a plant will exhibit slightly serrated edges. The leaves are 50 – 80cm long and width varies from 8 – 20cm.
When agave desmettiana are planted in the ground they will generally flower 8 – 10 years later. The flower stem is 250 – 300cm in height with some 20 – 25 side branches. The flowers are pale green in colour. After flowering some plants develop aerial bulbs.
This plant is propagated from seed, from bulbs if they are formed, or by splitting off new plants growing from the original.
It does need much water. Unlike other agaves it doesn’t like full sun. It thrives in desert-like conditions in part or full shade. At the same time it will stand the sun in Mediterranean, but will also be happy in the shade. It can withstand frost down to -40C, lower temperatures kill the plant.
Agave desmettiana is used in landscaping in the same way as agave attenuate: in groups, as edging for a patio, or as a specimen plant or in small groups within a rock garden. It is an ideal succulent for temperate areas with its soft, thorn-free leaves.
The Palm Centre, Koycegeiz
For a wide range of special plants visit the areas best nursery, The Palm Centre at Köyceğiz.
It is open daily between 1st June – 31st October but you can visit at any other time by appointment.
Access to plant sales is free but a fee is payable to look around the extensive nursery.
Just ring or email (English is spoken):
E-mail: : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel : +90 252 262 28 92
Fax : +90 252 262 51 61