Agave parryi var. huachusensis

Artichoke Agave

Surely one of the most attractive of all the Agaves, there can be well over 100 pale blue leaves on a single plant. It colonises vast areas of Arizona and Mexico. A. parryi is well known in cultivation, the variety ‘huachusensis’ less so. It is the largest and most robust variety with leaves, ultimately, up to 25 inches or 64 cm long, pale blue in colour and equipped with red brown thorns and a strong terminal spine.

Perfect in the hot dry conservatory where it could be the centrepiece of a display of arid plants and will grow well especially if generously watered during hot dry weather.

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Origin: New Mexico, Texas
Genus: Agave
Species / Cultivar: parryi var. huachusensis
Common Name: Artichoke Agave

Plant Biography

Occurring in south-eastern Arizona and into the Mexican state of Chihuahua, it forms vast colonies to the exclusion of much else.

It’s hardiness to cold is due to the high altitude at which it grows along the mountain range. It produces prodigious quantities of offsets or suckers from which it may be readily propagated and, with luck and a fair wind, a huge flower stalk after a number of years.

Agave parryi var. huachusensis
Soil: Well drained
Soil that does not show much signs of moisture, either visibly or when handled.
Growth Rate: Slow
This plant is particularly slow to grow, even during growing season.
Water Requirement: Low
Will grow in a drier position and is unlikely to need regular watering once established.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Full Sun
Wants direct, unfiltered sunlight most of the day, such as a south facing position.
Eventual Height: 0.5m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 1m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Hardy
Survives unprotected in an average winter. May need protection in extreme long frosts.
Habit: Evergreen
Always in leaf throughout the year. It won't lose all its leaves at any one time.

Expert Tip

Always place this and indeed any Agave well away from paths, children and pets. The sharp leaf tips, while beautiful, can cause injury to the unwary. Alternatively they can be trimmed back.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

In the garden this Agave is well worth trying in a sunny corner. It is relatively hardy as long as it is kept quite dry during winter. This can be achieved by planting it in very free-draining gritty compost and by building a simple shelter over it to keep off the rain. Given this it should tolerate several degrees of minus temperatures.

The more or less round shape of this Agave grows to about 40cms tall and 50cms wide, with an exceptionally tall flower spike, up to some 5m/15 feet.