Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My make-believe Foliage-Follow-up…(if I lived in Spain)

A Spanish gardener recently sent plant lust a few images of her huge Agave Americana Variegata Stricta. I asked her for permission to post them here on my blog which she kindly granted. She lives in Altea la Vella, Alicante, Spain and estimates these plants are 30-40 years old. She goes on to share “I live in an old Spanish house, with about 3000+ m2 of ground and the the natural habitat of "cactus type" plants which appear to survive on this bit of Mediterranean coast. The most frightening is what the locals call "Seguridad" which I think, in times gone past, was the sure way to keep would be suitors away from virginal daughters as it was planted all the way round the outskirts of the house and gardens. I think it could be called "Stetsonia" but I will take some more photos and send them, as you make know the proper name, they grow to an enormous size as well with killer spines. I´ve also got Yuccas and Aloes and a small-cactus garden in what was an old terrapin pond on a pedestal.” One of her agaves is sending up a bloom spike. As you might imagine I am quite jealous. Thank you Lynn for the photos! And here’s a reminder for any of you Portlanders that are salivating at the thought of beautiful agaves like these (only smaller), and other exotics not commonly found ‘round here…this weekend is the Rare Plant Research Open House. Go! Visit rareplantresearch.com for more information.


  1. What a fun post of vicarious gardening. Love the Agaves, even if they're not in the Danger Garden.

  2. I was in Spain last summer and saw some pretty amazing gardens. I'd never seen Agaves that big in my life. They were huge!

    We loved Spain. But it was really hot--above 100 every day. And most Spaniards don't have AC. But the Agaves love it!

    Thanks for sharing the photos.

  3. That rocky, dry habitat looks like parts of Austin. I couldn't help noticing that she mentioned their "native habitat," because of course all agaves are native to the Americas and were introduced to the Old World by explorers. When I went to Tanzania I saw agaves growing wild and asked our naturalist guide about them and was assured that they were native African plants. It shows how long they've been around and how well they've naturalized around the globe.

  4. Will it drive you completely mad if I tell you there is a surprisingly hardy clone of this species growing in some old NE Portland gardens? I haven't seen how they fared these past two winters, but they'd obviously been there for many years...

  5. Grace, in a way isn't that what all gardening blogs are best at? Providing a little vicarious gardening I mean.

    Van, I saw the same around Italy, especially on the coast!

    Pam, great point!

    kate, nope...not going crazy, because I think I might have one! (courtesy of Mr. Hogan).

  6. Those of us with smaller (MUCH smaller) versions can admire and dream. My first thought when I saw that bloom spike was "giant asparagus"!

  7. Wow those Agave are huge! And one is blooming, how great! It always is interesting to me that the spikes kind of look like asparagus!


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!