Agave deserti var. deserti
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A native of the Lower Colorado River Valley of the Sonoran Desert and the San Jacinto mountain range, Agave deserti var. deserti thrives in alkaline, rocky soils. It’s slow-growing and easily kept in check. Single plants form a handsome symmetrical hemisphere. The leaves have a deep central gutter and regularly spaced small teeth on their margins. This monocarpic plant flowers in early to mid-summer and the flowers are bright yellow on a 8-13 foot tall branched inflorescence. Best adapted to very well-drained soils and a sunny environment with low-humidity. The desert agave is an oasis to desert dwellers and even the key to survival for many species. The desert dwelling Native Americans used fibers from the leaves to make cloth, bowstrings, and rope and they ate the young flower stalks, plant hearts and buds. It’s more cold tolerant than many agaves, possibly even hardy to USDA Zone 7 with protection. It is deer resistant as well.
This agave is an ornamental plant with silvery blue gray leaves. Great for landscape borders, native plant gardens, rock gardens, cactus or xeriscape plantings. In cooler, wetter climates grow it in a container in very well drained soil. Spiny so take care to locate these away from foot traffic.
Bonus fact: Deserti was one of the main food staples of the natives for the Cahuilla peoples. Plants are very low in smilagenin and sapogenin making this plant rather tasty — you will need to protect them from gophers.
Names and Synonyms: Agave consociata
Common Names: Desert Agave
Origin: Native to rocky or gravely soils in the Lower Colorado River Valley subdivision of the Sonoran Desert
Size Label: 1 Gallon
Mature Size: individual rosette
Cold Tolerance: 10 to 15°F, -12.2 to -8.4°C
Heat Tolerance: Extremly heat tolerant
Light Requirement: Full sun
Water needs: Extremely drought tolerant. Very occasional summer irrigation or give the plant a hosing off once a month during a hot dry summer.
Maintenance: Remove offshoots, dead leaves and spine tips (as desired).
Uses: This agave is an ornamental plant with silvery blue gray leaves. Great for landscape borders, native plant gardens, rock gardens, cactus or xeriscape plantings. In cooler, wetter climates grow it in a container in very well drained soil. Spiny so take care to locate these away from foot traffic.
Propagation: Propagate by offshoots or seeds after flowering
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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