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Agave ovatifolia

Agave ovatifolia
By six years old, our largest plant has reached a truly imposing size
whale's tongue agave
Spring seedling, in October

Common name whale's tongue agave
Family agavaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z8-10)
Size 3'
Light sun
Cultural notes well-drained soil; drought-tolerant
From seed germinate at room temperature with exposure to light

Forms a symmetrical rosette, wider than it is tall, of fleshy smooth silver-blue leaves with toothed margins and terminal spines. Takes at least 4 years to reach close to its mature size, and much longer than that to bloom, carrying chartreuse flowers on a tall stalk. Part of project Agave 2018; among the species I grew from seed, this one has grown fastest, and is also the only one that isn't damaged at all in our stronger freezes (into the mid-teens). An added benefit is that our main plants are now so robust (and spiny) that even our over-enthusiastic pup, prone to destroying almost everything in the garden, gives them a wide berth

Agave ovatifolia
Patch of year-old plants in holding area, June
whale's tongue agave
Third-year plant showing off the malevolent side and terminal spines on its broad leaves
Agave ovatifolia
I love this plant up close – it's so architectural, with the contrasts between smooth sweeping curves and sharp spines, and between fresh blue-green and burgundy tips
whale's tongue agave
Ouch-inducing spines and barbs
Agave ovatifolia
Four-year-old plant

In our garden, this plant grows in the following areas: Houston rock garden, left fence border, rock garden zone

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