Thursday, February 10, 2011

Agave 'Mr. Ripple'

Agave 'Mr. Ripple'

Did Georgia O'Keefe paint this agave?  It looks watercolored!  This one is growing in the Xeric Garden at the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh.  Also known as Hardy Century Plant, 'Mr. Ripple' can withstand temperatures at least as low as about 12 degrees without too much damage  (according to Plant Delights Nursery, which is also in Raleigh).

If you love it and want to grow it, you should know:  Century plants die after blooming.   But there's good news:  The plants produce lots of babies as they're singing their swan song.  And, the blooms attract hummingbirds.  Anyway, yours will probably not bloom for years.  Don't count on it being a hundred, though; average life span is more like ten to twenty years.

Did you know tequila comes from an agave?  (Agave tequilana)