Monday, August 17, 2020

Portland agaves...

Since I take my job as Portland's Agave Ambassador very seriously, it is my duty to keep you up to date on all the latest agave-goings on about town—and there are a lot! First up this Agave parryi I wrote about in August of last year (here), of course it wasn't blooming then.

A friend sent me an image of him standing in front of the bloomstalk and I wasted no time in getting over to see it for myself.

The owner of this fine specimen (and handsome garden in general) left a comment on my Instagram feed confirming that it is indeed an Agave parryi, and it's about 20 years old.

Since I was there I walked up the street to check on the next-door neighbor's garden.

Agave ocahui...

And up near the south-facing foundation of the house, is this beauty—perhaps Agave schidigera 'Shira ito no Ohi' or a variegated Agave filifera.

One more look at the bloomer...

It's been awhile since I've checked in on these Agave ovatifolia. The house sold awhile back (listing here) and I was worried the new owners wouldn't appreciate what they had.

Not to worry though—I had a brief email back and forth with the new owners last year and they were excited about the plants.

The pair of Yucca rostrata are new additions, quite fetching don't you think?

Since I was nearby I decided to check in on this big fellow that bloomed last year, again I was surprised he was still standing.

Not just because he's dying (dead), but because I thought the owners would have had him removed soon after he finished blooming.

I'm so glad they haven't though, as it's been interesting to watch the post-bloom process. The bloomed-out plant is still covering some pups at it's base.

And there are other agaves nearby to carry on.

I think these are earlier pups of the plant that bloomed, moved to another spot in the garden.

Of course this post wouldn't be complete without a shot of the other bloomed out agave in town, super-star Monte—the Agave montana. Monte's caretaker, Lance, has written a lengthy blog post all about him. I haven't had time to read it (yet) but it's here if you're interested. 

Here's the plant that's known as the "Sacramento Agave"—because of it's location on Sacramento Street. Photo from July 9th, the bloomstalk's branching had begun. 

And I spotted a pup hidden in the shrubbery, although it might belong to the other agave further down the bank.

Checking in on July 29th.

The plant is starting to shrink, but still looks pretty good, and there are pups under there!

Does anyone else here the Wicked Witch? ("I'm melting!")

So many buds...

Also July 29th

August 3rd

And finally, on August 13th, the blooms were starting to open.

The base is falling inward on itself.

Pups, waiting to take over...

And I spotted another a little further down the bank, as long as the current owners of this lot do nothing there should be quite the agave patch continuing here.

One more look before...

We drive south and investigate a fallen warrior.

A friend who lives just around the corner from this sad scene alerted me to it, I believe this is an Agave parryi, similar to the plant that began this post.

Snapped right off at the base. Wind? Gravity? Vandalism?

At least it gives me an opportunity to check out the blooms up close.

So many bees—open!open!open!


Pretty cool eh? 

I have recently learned of two large agaves on the west-side of Portland (these are all east-side residents, like me) and stalked them on Google maps, drive-by to happen soon!

—   —   —

Weather Diary, Aug 16: Hi 95, Low 68/ Precip 0 

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


  1. The first agave is quite remarkable! What a jaw dropping display, 20 years in the making!
    The last 'fallen' hero is nice to end the post with; I don't remember seeing such a close up of a towering giant, fascinating for me and the bees.

    1. The hum of the bees was audible, so cool!

  2. O M G ! Pictures 8 and 9 ...what is that tree with the crimson bark ? A perfect companion to the lovely blue Agave . I WANT IT ! :)

    1. It is an arctostaphylos, common name manzanita. I believe that one might be Arctostaphylos x ‘Austin Griffiths', but I'm basing that on nothing other than the fact I have that one and it looks a lot like theirs.

  3. I hope the blooms/bulbils on the Fallen Warrior have a chance to mature. So close to the street, I imagine the owner or neighbors may have worried about it falling over. I was worried about the two Agave desmettiana I had blooming along the street last year for that reason but those bloom spikes never got taller than 8 feet.

    1. I thought the one that bloomed last summer, on the steep slope, might fall over, but nope.

  4. Agave watching, fun! They don't really die, you know, they are like a Phoenix--renewed--via their offsets and/or plantlets. Happy hunting for more.

    1. Sure the genes live on, but that giant agave is no longer living.

  5. Magnificent right 'til the end. The flowers are so lovely. Too bad about the fallen warrior. I hope it was the wind and not some agave hater. :(

    1. How upsetting would that be? Your beautiful plant, doing it's death bloom and some idiot knocks it over.

  6. What is the manzanita (I'm assuming that is what it is) with the red bark? It is stunning!

    1. I have no idea, but it looks a lot like my Arctostaphylos x ‘Austin Griffiths'.

  7. Hi Loree :) That bloomstalk is really neat! The photo with the Agave ovatifolia is spectacular...I love the look of every plant there and the red tree is so beautiful! I've never seen gardens like this so it was really fun to take the tour! Thanks! :)

  8. I love getting a closeup view of the blooms.

  9. The height and heft of that parryi inflorescence is jaw-dropping!

  10. Lovely post .Thanks for joining up at Garden Affair.It would be my pleasure if you continue to link on Garden Affair every week.

  11. They are stunning, but I couldn't deal with the removal of something that large when it died!

  12. Any suggestions for where I can get an agave plant or two? We live in Oak Grove and are planting our renovated front yard right now. Really love these plants, but haven't found any to buy locally yet.

    1. Yes! Cistus Nursery, Blooming Junction, Xera Plants, Rare Plant Research. You can often find them at other nurseries too, like Portland Nursery, Cornell Farms, Pomarius. Good luck!


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