agave hybrid

Agave x pseudoferox 'Green Goblet'

Sky Painting with Pollen

New century plant hybrids don’t usually just happen. Yes, a bee can occasionally transfer pollen, resulting in a new hybrid, but as a rule, new hybrids require an incredible amount of work, spearheaded here by our volunteer, Vince Schneider. Vince coordinates pollen collection, storage, as well as the pollination process. While we love agaves with

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Agave funkiana 'Grand Funk'

Thorny and Horny

Can you imagine living your entire life, looking forward to only one sexual encounter, which will only happen just before death? Such is the life of an agave (century plant). In botanical terms, this is known as being monocarpic. Growing monocarpic plants is the ultimate mixed emotional undertaking. It’s exciting to see them finally flower

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Cotton-tipped Century Plant

I remember looking in astonishment at the first published photos of the newly described North American (Northern Mexico) native century plant, Agave albopilosa, with disbelief. Could this really be real, and if so, how did it escape being discovered and published until 2007. It turned out not to be an April Fools photoshop joke, but

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Century Plants – it’s all about the teeth

Introducers of new century plant selections are challenged with coming up with appropriate cultivar names, often have a propensity to use wordplay, referring to the agaves spiny teeth. Two favorites, we photographed this week are below, Agave titanota ‘Snaggletooth’ (top), and Agave titanota ‘Sabertooth Tiger’ (bottom). Both are mutations of the same original plant, the

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A Breed Apart

Plant breeding is a wonderful hobby that attracts an array of hobbyists, as well a plant professionals. Many plants, such as hemerocallis, hosta, hibiscus, and iris, are so easy that they attract the majority of hobbyist breeders. Professionals and the craziest of the breeders occasionally focus on more difficult plants that few others are willing

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