This fast growing, adaptable, soft-leaved agave has no spines: Agave attenuata is one agave that is a delight to brush up against. Suitable near walkways, driveways, and other areas where gentleness is desired. Prized for its drought-tolerance, though it is not particularly adapted for frost.
Agave attenuata quickly grows into large clumping colonies unless its pups are removed. The wide pale green pliable leaves emerge from a tight central spear and arch gracefully back, resembling a large open soft-green flower. Individual rosettes gain a trunk which can be made visible if offsets and dead leaves are removed.
After 10-12 years individual rosettes bloom with an impressive ten foot tall foxtail-like inflorescence. Flower is outstanding and forms an angelic gate way with its arching spike. Rosettes die after flowering but there are plenty of seeds and pups on the inflorescence.
This agave is very popular in gardens because of its lovely form, adaptability and quick growth. However it is not particularly cold hardy and is easily damaged by frosts below 27°F. There are several different cultivars with varied leaf colors.
The species epithet comes from the Latin word ‘attenuo’ which in botanical usage has come to refer to the gradual reduction of the leaf as it tapers to a slender point. There are several cultivars available including ones with variegated leaves and bluer leaves.
Excellent plant for succulent gardens, xeriscape, mixed borders (as it can take more watering than most agaves), cactus gardens and in large containers (break off and pot up one with about a foot of stem for an instant dramatic specimen plant. Fine near walkways and swimming pools. Also nice as a contrast to grasses.
Names and Synonyms: Agave cernua, Agave debaryana, Agave glaucescens, Agave kellocki, Agave pruinosa
Common Names: Fox Tail Agave, Dragon-Tree Agave, Spineless Agave
Origin: The central plateau of Mexico in the states of Jalisco, México and Michoacán where it grows on rocky outcrops in pine forests from 6000-8000 feet in elevation.
Size Label: 1 Gallon
Mature Size: individual rosette
Cold Tolerance: 25 to 30°F; -3.9 to -1.1°C
Heat Tolerance: Very high
Light Requirement: Part to full sun
Water needs: Very drought tolerate, but looks its best with some summer irrigation in hot climates. Can take more water, shade and poorer drainage than most agaves.
Maintenance: Remove and/or replant offshoots and remove dead leaves as desired.
Uses: Excellent plant for succulent gardens, xeriscape, mixed borders (as it can take more watering than most agaves), cactus gardens and in large containers (break off and pot up one with about a foot of stem for an instant dramatic specimen plant. Fine near walkways and swimming pools. Also nice as a contrast to grasses.
Propagation: Pups can be removed and replanted and seeds can be collected from dried seed pods after flowering
Problems: Susceptible to snail damage
There is a minimum purchase of any 4 plants for online orders. All plants shipped bare root. Other sizes may be available for pick up from our growing grounds in Fallbrook, CA. For more information, give us a call at 760-990-4762.
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