Agave chrysantha

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

About a month ago, my friend Barry gave me a small pup-filled pot identified as Agave chrysantha; however, online searches have not brought up any descriptions that match the rust-coloured spines that my little plants feature. I’ve also checked my trusty identification book, Succulents: The Illustrated Dictionary with no luck.

The trouble is that many pup-sized agaves just don’t look like their mature counterpart. I’m going to have to separate my little pups into their own containers and let them grow up a bit before coming to any real conclusions about their parentage. I’ll get back to you on that in 2-5 years. Housebound agaves are not particularly fast growers.

In the meantime I can’t help but speculate and am beginning to think that they might in fact be younger, misidentified agave potatorum because they look a lot like my slightly older plant but with less wave in the leaves and spines. At least that’s what I hope they are — it’s a fabulous plant.

Playing plant detective is fun. I’m ready for my nerd badge.

Meanwhile, the agave bug really has come back to infect me recently. I just can’t get enough of them.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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5 thoughts on “Agave chrysantha

  1. Gayla, I grew this plant from seed, and it was labeled A. chrysantha. Of course this is no guarantee that this is what it actually is.
    Interesting to note that it started sending out off-sets very early on, and has not gotten very much bigger. I wonder if this is its ultimate size? Any way, I don’t think it’s potatorum. Could be a hybrid.

  2. Barry: That changes things. In an email you told me you got the parent plant at Plant World and didn’t know the lineage!

    I think they might grow larger if divided up but that is odd. I like it at this size but am curious.

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