Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Move over Monte, there's another agave in town...

Last week, when I wrote about visiting Monte, someone commented anonymously saying: "The massive agave near NE Alameda has put up a spike, no bloom yet..." I thought maybe they were referring to the agave that bloomed last summer (shown here) after all it was right off Alameda, on the ridge. But then I figured, even a novice could tell the difference between an agave putting up a spike vs. an agave that had already bloomed. That meant only one thing...there was another agave blooming in Portland!

I figured the word massive was key, this couldn't be any regular old agave, it had to be one with stature, dare I say gravitas. I thought of the famed "Sacramento agave" and yep, it is the one.

This agave was much more impressive years ago. As I recall (although my memory is always up for questioning) the house sold and the new owners haven't invested much in the garden. When I visited in October of 2016  (and wrote a blog post titled: an icon in decline) the plant looked so bad I was searching for a bloom-spike, figuring that's what was sucking the life out of it, but no.

Oddly, in September 2018 a post appeared on Instagram from the folks who planted the now blooming agave. Odd because the photo they shared in that post was definitely not from 2018, it was from a "happier" time in the garden (see it here). They identified the agave as Agave x protamericana 'Silver Surfer' and said it came from Sean Hogan and Cistus Nursery.

The same person commented on a photo I posted to my Instagram account last weekend and said the second agave (shown below) is not a pup of the blooming plant. Which is good to know because I always assumed it was.

Poor thing has not lead an easy life either.

Anyway, long back story, but another Portland agave is blooming!

This one isn't really on my way to anywhere but you can be assured I will be doing plenty of drive-by's to see how it develops.

During my brief visit there were a lot of walkers and bikers passing by and noticing it too. As the blooming process of this one will probably stretch on into the late summer, I wonder if it has the capability of becoming another destination plant, like Monte?

Weather Diary, May 25: Hi 67, Low 54/ Precip .07

All material © 2009-2020 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. To all Agave lovers in Portland (and elsewhere) its exciting to see Agave x protamericana 'Silver Surfer' sending out a bloom spike. The agave should be named though (silver dude?).
    The only downer is the unattended garden.

    1. Ya that garden is so sad! And I will try to remember to call him Silver Dude...that's a good one!

  2. Bittersweet. Such beautiful big plants soon to crumble. Definitely out with a bang. Too bad the current owners haven't invested much time in the garden as it looks like it was once cared for.

    1. It was once lovely. At least they didn't have the agaves removed.

  3. Monte has a particularly beautiful bloom spike but then I'm not familiar with 'Silver Surfer'. Blooming agaves aren't a spectacle here as they're relatively common but I was impressed with Monte, so much so that I've decided I need to free my Agave montana from its tiny pot to allow it to reach its destiny - someday. I still live in fear of the day that all my 'Blue Glows', many planted around the same time at the same size, may decide to bloom at once - the south side of my garden will never be the same afterward.

    1. I'm excited to see what your Agave montana becomes, and yes...while the blooming of your Agave 'Blue Glow' community will be a spectacular thing, they'll definitely leave a hole.


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