Friday, December 30, 2016

A favorite plant that needs a name...

This end of month favorite was gifted to me years ago by a friend. She identified it as Agave weberi and that's what I've always called it (for instance when I "faved" it in August of 2014). Here it is before our ice-fest earlier in December...

The two stock tanks on either side are empty because, in anticipation of the cold temps, I pulled the small (not terribly hardy) Agaves that usually spend winter there (they're toasty in the basement). The burlap you can see tucked around the base was an effort to add a layer of "mulch"...

So as I said, I've always thought of this as an Agave weberi...

But when I visited the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix last October I saw several plants that were labeled as A. weberi. This is not the same plant as mine!

Look ma, no teeth! (on the sides of the leaves)

Although I did eventually find these...

On this plant. Look at the lower left hand side, just above the signage.

I've also had two blog commenters question the name, when I referred to my plant as A. weberi. So that leave's me asking, what is it?

Correct identification is getting even more important to me, as we've got an impending cold snap (12F as a low, with high temps below freezing for days...YIKES!) and I'm trying to figure out if heroic measures are called for (A. weberi is said to be hardy to 10F). Although really, this bad boy is so big it's not going anywhere...

My what long terminal spikes you have!

The grey-green color certainly fits most A. weberi descriptions, whereas Agave americana is typically much bluer.

Any guesses? I'm all ears...oh and I'd love to hear about your favorite plants this month, even if they have names already!

Inspired by Amy at A Small Sunny Garden, I'm starting a new "weather diary" section at the bottom of each blog post. I've tried to track temperature highs and lows elsewhere but haven't managed to stick with it. Since this blog is the one thing I seem to be able to consistently maintain, I figure this may work...

Weather Diary, December 29: Hi 42F, Low 33F / Precip 0

All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

27 comments:

  1. An agave by any other name would smell as sweet. Oh wait, that's something else entirely. I've got no clue as usual.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But you made me smile, as usual.

      Delete
  2. I was going to be a smartass and tell you to call it Sam. It's a beauty. It does remind me very much of one of my first Agaves, A. americana, which was not at all hardy. Th weather diary is a great idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sam it is! Although I've sometimes thought of it as Scott, you know with it's last name and all.

      Delete
  3. Ask Gerhard to ask Greg Starr for you. I don't grow weberi so can't say for sure. Your climate is going to create a different "look" than Arizona. Franzosinii gets that distinctive droop to the leaves, but again your climate is not Arizona. It's a beauty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so right about the climate and the "look"...and the fact that (sadly) my climate is not Arizona...

      Delete
  4. P.S. You maintain your garden pretty darn consistently, so that's two things, not one! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. You have indeed uncovered the Weber's Agave conundrum. I believe that it can be solved in this manner. There are two distinctly different plants that are both correctly identified as Weber's Agave. The plant that you have is what I believe to be Agave weberi. However, there is another species of "Weber's Agave" which is correctly identified as Agave tequliana 'Weber's Blue'. This variety has thinner, rigid and more upright, blue leaves (blades) that have less pronounced black thorns on the blades. I am certainly not proclaiming that the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix has misidentified their specimen. However, based on my horticultural knowledge, I believe that you do indeed have a Weber's Agave. You can do the research on your own to determine the differences. Have a safe and Happy New Year's.
    Rand

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate your comment very much! This does make sense and I look forward to delving into the differences. Thanks again!

      Delete
  6. Sadly, I've no clue either. Worse yet, I forgot about the month-end favorites post, although I included a few favorite combinations in my year-end retrospective...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I look forward to reading your year-end retrospective.

      Delete
  7. Can you access any old school style Christmas lights, and string around the Agave with a tented frost cover over it? Or if nothing better, a shop work light close by and tented cover sealed at ground level, or get some hay bales and cover thoroughly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband is up for moving it into the garage (fingers crossed that's possible) to I'm going to start with that.

      Delete
  8. Hmm, Agave dangeri? Sorry, this one is beyond my area of expertise. When it comes to succulents, I'm all too often reduced to bad jokes and puns...case in point.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Forgot to add a link to my monthly favorites post. I was too busy thinking up that "case in point" pun. http://practicalplantgeek.blogspot.com/2016/12/december-2016-favorites.html

    ReplyDelete
  10. No help but that is absolutely spectacular! I hope it powers through the coming cold snap unscathed. I want one.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a beauty! I'm wondering how much cold it's survived over the past two winters, whether that would be any help in identifying it?
    Glad to see you like the weather diary idea too; I did mine for just the same reason: I knew I would keep it up on the blog. Besides, it gives a quick reference point for viewers to understand what the plants are responding to during the different seasons.
    My Favs post turned into a two-day marathon thanks to very slow internet, but here it is at last...: https://www.smallsunnygarden.com/2016/12/31/a-december-favorite-hamelia-patens/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The past to winters have been extremely mild, but it did survive our last cold spell...to 12F! It was smaller then and was wrestled into our unheated garage. Thank you so much for the idea of the weather diary! (and your favorites post)

      Delete
  12. No clue what your agave is but it's gorgeous. Good luck for the freeze ahead, let us all pray it doesn't go to 12. Oy. If anyone can save an agave it's you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thankfully things are predicted to not be quite so cold...

      Delete
  13. Do you have a hand truck? It's really useful for carting big plants around. My December fave is the same as November, just dressed up a little more: http://bannersbyricki.com/archives/5724

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do, but oddly they don't make things any lighter OR move themselves. The two of us just barely managed to wrestle this one into the garage via the hand truck...a mere 10-15 ft but it felt like a mile.

      Delete
  14. I just stumbled on your blog and enjoying it. But maybe add Agave franzosinii into "the Maybe's". Good luck and looking forward to knowing what it is.

    ReplyDelete

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!