Agave parryi, Parry's Agave, is native to the Southwest United States and Mexico. Glaucous gray leaves in basal rosettes will reach 1 foot tall (30cm) and about 4 inches wide (10cm). The succulent leaves end with a brown to gray terminal spine 1 inch (2.5 cm) long (very rigid and sharp) and bear sharp small-recurved spines on the margins. It is one of the cold hardiest of the agaves and will grow in drier areas of USDA zones 5-11.
Blooming Time: The inflorescence is about 15 feet (5 meters) tall with creamy yellow flowers.
Culture: Agave parryi need full sun and a well-drained soil. We use a soil mix consisting of equal parts of loam and sand with small gravel added to increase drainage. The plants can withstand a lot of drought and still look good. We water ours twice a month in the greenhouse and fertilize once during the growing season. During the winter months we drop the temperatures to 50° F (10° C) and water only enough to keep the leaves from shriveling.
Propagation: Agave parryi are propagated by removal of offshoots from the base in spring.
Agave parryi was featured as Plant of the Week November 15-21, 2002.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.