Manfreda ‘Silver Leopard’
Manfreda ‘Silver Leopard’ is a striking accent plant for xeriscape and succulent gardens. It looks good in borders or as a small-scale groundcover plant. Its leaves are soft therefore it can be located near pedestrian traffic. Manfreda grows well in containers.
Manfreda can be propagated from root divisions or by collecting and sowing seed.
This wonderful accent plant has broad succulent leaves with a silvery gray hue dotted with large, dark maroon spots. It forms rosettes of spotted silvery blushed blue-green leaves that tend to curl upward at the edges. It grow from a tuber and goes dormant during periods or drought or temperature extremes.
Manfreda ‘Silver Leopard’ blooms in the spring with long spikes of tuberose like flowers. The flowers are mildly fragrant. Plants tend to decline and die after flowering, but many pups are formed and the plants spread in this fashion to create a colony.
The species’ rhizomes were used by the indigenous North American people to make soap and shampoo and Manfreda maculosa (one of the plant’s parents) is host to the now rare manfreda giant skipper butterfly.
Manfreda ‘Silver Leopard’ is native to the sandy scrublands of southern Texas and northern Mexico and it is highly drought tolerant. Leaves are drought deciduous and allow the plant to go dormant during hot, dry summers.
Manfreda maculosa forms a rosette of fleshy, one-foot long green leaves, which are attractively spotted with purple. Leaves are narrow and often lie flat with the ground. It quickly spreads by underground rhizomes. In late spring, the clumps are topped with 3’-5′ tall flower spikes resembling single tuberoses. The flowers are fragrant and open creamy white but age to rosy red on subsequent days. Large green seedpods follow the flowers. The flowers are attractive to nectar seeking insects and birds. In its native habitat young flower stalks are tasty bites for small mammals, javelina, and deer which can end the flowering effort for that season. Chopped rhizomes of Manfreda maculosa were once used as a source of soap and shampoo in Texas. Caterpillars of the rare Manfreda Giant Skipper (Stallingsia maculosa) depend on this plant as a food source. Manfreda will hybridize with plants in the genus Polianthes. This plant is very hardy but it will go deciduous in harsh freezes.
Names and Synonyms: Agave strictata, Agave maculosa, Polianthes maculosa
Common Names: Texas Tuberose, Rattlesnake Agave, Spice Lily, Deciduous Agave
Origin: Southern Texas and northerneastern Mexico
Size Label: 1 gallon
Cold Tolerance: 0 to 5°F, -17.8 to -15°C
Heat Tolerance: Very high heat tolerance
Light Requirement: Shade to full sun along the coast.
Water needs: Very drought tolerant but it looks best when watered and when the soil is allowed to dry out between waterings. In extreme drought the plant will lose its leaves.
Maintenance: Remove spent flower spikes and dead leaves if desired.
Uses: Makes a nice textural accent plant and even as a medium height ground cover for dry areas. Great in containers where the leaves can drape over the side of the pot. Does well in dry dappled shade under open trees. Great in xeriscape and succulent gardens.
Propagation: Plants can be propagated by root division or seed.
Problems: None, but needs soils with good drainage.
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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