Friday, April 26, 2013

Agave parryi 'JC Raulston'...my favorite plant in the garden this week.

It’s about time I featured an agave don’t you think? Well ‘JC Raulston’ has definitely earned the privilege. This particular plant…

Has been in my garden for two years now, that’s two wet winters without any damage at all.

It is simply perfect.

Pictured below is my second ‘JC’ planted last spring in a space vacated by a less suitable agave (it turned to mush). This one has grown significantly, easily out-sizing its older brother.

As if just to prove these plants are alive and not plastic this one has developed a bit of a blemish over the winter.

Still its beauty is unchanged in my eyes.

When I first discovered this clone the description from Plant Delights Nursery was what convinced me to buy: "We've grown Agave parryi from all along its native range, but the best clone is still the one growing at the JC Raulston Arboretum in NC. We tracked this clone back to a plant that came from J.C.'s 1979 trip to California's Strybing Arboretum. Strybing obtained their plant from California professor Jack Napton in 1971. This special clone forms large symmetrical 2' tall x 3' wide rosettes that seem particularly well-adapted to winters in wet, humid climates. It is slow to offset compared with many forms, which makes propagation more of a challenge. This clone needed a name and we could not think of anything better than to name it after the late Dr. J.C. Raulston."

Yes “particularly well-adapted to winters in wet...climates.” is what sold me. What I don’t understand is the part about being slow to offset. The oldest one has freely pupped in the ground and I separated these as tiny offsets before I planted the second one.

The stats:
  • Hardy in zones 7a-9b
  • Eventual size 2ft tall x 3 ft wide
  • Needs fun sun in well drained soil…loves some heat
  • Monocarpic, once it blooms the mother plant will die

I should confess that when I went back to The Gardener’s Choice to buy that Ligularia 'Osiris Cafe Noir' (you knew I was going to), they were having a “buy one get one free” sale on all agaves. How could I say no? Now I’ve got two more JC’s to play with…and there are pups!

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

28 comments:

  1. Beautiful! this winter was particularly hard on my agaves. But my agave parryi huachucensis has done the best. I will have to look for JC Raulson

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    1. I think the wet foggy and cold January was particularly nasty for our agaves, I know mine were all looking pretty sad, thankfully the drier spring has helped them spiff up a bit. I wish I could send you a couple of pups!

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  2. I got one of these last fall because of your glowing recommendation sometime in the past. It's already grown quite a bit and I'm looking forward to it maybe someday looking as good as yours. I think the agave pup you gave me is one of these and it seems very happy in the ground!

    That's not a blemish, it's a beauty mark! Gorgeous!

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    1. Yep yep the pup was one separated from my second plant, glad to hear it's doing okay. And you're right, it does,have a beauty mark look to it!

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  3. My J.C. Raulston also made it through the winter pretty well, although it does have two wonky arms, and is not quite so beautifully formed as yours. Its pups didn't make it however. I think if it pups again, I'll dig them out and grow them on inside for a bit.

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    1. Wonky arms! Yikes...I've certainly seen my share of those (and sadly severed many of them).

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  4. You've done a great job of siting the Agave to maximize its beauty.

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    1. Thank you Kris, I do enjoy seeing passers by stop and stare.

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  5. They are lovely Agaves. I reckon they are my favourite.

    I have one, not sure if it is a 'JC Raulston' or not. It stayed outside this winter (it was protected under a pop-up plastic greenhouse though).

    On a side note I bought a new laptop a couple of weeks ago and it has a much better display and your photos look even better than they did before :)

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    1. Yay for new laptops! Always nice to have new technology available, and I'm glad to hear my photos are benefitting from the upgrade.

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  6. One of my favorites as well--although I use the term "favorite" very liberally when it comes to agaves.

    I have one 'JC Raulston' and it's in an unfortunate spot, almost entirely dwarfed by my huge Agave desmettiana 'Variegata'. I'm thinking of diggging it up and moving it so it gets more sun. It's been living in the dark for 4 years and looks no worse for the wear, although it hasn't grown much either.

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    1. Ah yes, good point...since they are all favorites!

      I look forward to hearing how your liberated 'JC' does with more sun.

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  7. Having finally given up on A. neomexicana in the ground, this looks like a likely replacement.

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    1. I'd be happy to share a pup, although in my experience,you might have more success with a bigger plant.

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  8. You're not fooling me -- I know this is one of your favorite plants *any* week. :)

    I'm hoping the little one you sent me does as well as yours once it's in the ground, although the 7a rating worries me a bit.

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    1. Damn, you're right of course.

      I think the 7a was being cautious...

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  9. Love Agave parryi's and JC Raulston looks 'perfect' indeed! Still on the lookout for bigger ones here, if I spot them I'll nab some more. Can't get enough of them!

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    1. So true...no such thing as too many!

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  10. Wow!!! I MUSTTTTT find this agave for my garden!!!! beautiful! I always LOVE the colours in your garden, the first picture of this post is so full of colour!

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    1. I hope you can find one Lisa, and it certainly is a great time in the garden for color...especially with the Cotinus just starting to leaf out in that photo,you referenced.

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  11. Molly LittlejohnApril 26, 2013

    Your agave are tweezer clean. I'm so jealous and you are making me feel guilty. :)!

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    1. Ha! You know when I looked at these after the post went live I thought "I really should have spent time cleaning them up"...although I did clean out the big stuff. Still haven't found your tweezers yet?

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  12. This was the one that led me to buy the one and only Agave in my botanical troupe. I must look for this particular species.... if only I had the space, and the climate to let it do its thing year round in the garden and not have to bring it inside to winter over!

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    1. Indeed if only, but then you might really get the bug and go agave crazy!

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  13. They are pretty, I saw one at the cactus show this weekend but I went for another agave instead. That was a great sale, surprised you stopped with just one.

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    1. I have a few agaves that I need to get in the ground this spring, notice I'm not saying too many, but enough that bringing home two more seemed like enough...

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  14. Ok, While I generally admire your spiky plants, happily from a distance, this one is very interesting. I'm a struck by the contrasting color that edges the plant. Very pretty! Cheers, Jenni

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  15. I would love one if these but can't seem to find any around where I live.They are absolutely gorgeous !

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