Friday, August 16, 2019

Agave spotting...

I love to take the road I've not yet traveled. If I have the time I'll purposely take an alternate route wherever I'm going. That's how you discover great plantings, one's you wouldn't have otherwise known existed. On this particular day I was on my way to Portland Nursery, Division St. location. I took a few random turns and was rewarded with a huge agave...

If I had to guess I'd say it's Agave parryi var. couesii, but that's just a guess.

It doesn't look like it's ever suffered any winter damage.

There's a pup hiding in the shadows just behind it.

This guy has the arching leaves of an Agave scabra, but the color doesn't seem right.

In the shadows to the left was a whole little bunch of some kind of pups.

Looking up the street—at the house next door—its garden was worth exploring too.

I loved the opuntia, but was thrilled to discover another agave as I got closer, A. ocahui I believe.

Looking back at the first house and the Agave ocahui...

And there's more! Up near the front porch another opuntia and an agave, perhaps A. schidigera 'Shira ito no Ohi'. How wonderful is this? Two houses right beside each other, both with adventurous (for Portland) plants!

Agaves, opuntia and that's a match-up you don't see very often.

Another day, another agave; although this Agave ovatifolia wasn't a surprise, The location is quite near my house and I've been tracking it for years. I used the excuse of this blog post to walk by and see how it's doing.

Planted on the north side of the house I have wondered how it would do, long-term, but looks like it's getting plenty of light. If my memory is correct that pup has been there since the beginning, odd since A. ovatifolia don't usually pup.

This collection of agaves is another neighborhood find, but a new one. This is also an example of new construction, Portland in-fill style. There was one old house on this lot, now there are three tall skinnys and a regular size house on the corner.

The plants; impressively well spaced baby agaves...

And the blue/green house they actually belong to (my first photo was a little deceiving)

These agaves are gonna love their hot (with concrete and rocks) southern exposure. As long as they get enough summer water they will explode with growth! Oh, and that Sedum confusum will have this corner covered in green in no time!

This one has got to be an Agave ovatifolia...

I think this one is too, but it's suffered a bit of damage at some point.

This agave is a bit of a head-scratcher. Any guesses?

On to another unexpected agave discovery, perhaps a reward for going to get a unpleasant medical test taken care of—as it's located right across the street from a hospital and medical offices.

The large plant is another Agave parryi of some sort, I believe.

There were two other pups up near the sidewalk to the front door, one is obvious, but if you look closely you can see another in the background, partially buried by bark dust put down to get the house on the market.

Stepping back for an overall view.

Finally updates on a couple of bloomers. This is the agave I discovered about to bloom in Dundee, OR, last May (here). Andrew and I were down that way in late July and took a detour to see how it was doing. Good thing too, as my friend Denise, who had been sending me updates, tells me they've cut the bloomspike off, presumably because it was pulling the plant out of the ground and looked like it was going to topple over.

Thankfully the one nearer my home, in NE Portland, is still upright. It's buds haven't fully opened yet, so this one still has a way to go...

Weather Diary, Aug 15: Hi 83, Low 61/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2019 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. I bet those first two houses are garden buddies. Love the combination of the Agave with those tall narrow evergreens in the last image. Great Garden.

    1. Ya I agree (garden buddies), a thought that makes me happy.

  2. So interesting to see there are so many other gardeners in Portland who are as adventurous as you. Bummer about the bloom spike in Dundee.

    1. I bet there's a good amount in your area as well!

  3. Forget plant hunters - Portland has its very own agave spotter! I have to wonder how many of those homeowners may have been inspired by your garden and/or your blog.

  4. Like a treasure hunt, but without any clues!
    I like the small houses, they look super energy efficient. It seems that Portland is way ahead when it comes to green building.

    1. In some ways yes, but all the knocking down of perfectly fine older houses, just to build new BIG ones kind of negates the positive.

  5. Lovely new home full of attractive details, (not always the case with new construction), and rocking landscape. No pun intended. For the life of me, I couldn't tell these lovely blue agaves apart... I don't know how you do it :-)

  6. Guessing A. pygmaea 'Dragon Toes' with the skinny-house ovatifolias.

    Love that rocky sheer slope in the last photo! I know you've shown it before, but it's always a wow.


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!