Agave pup gift: A. americana mediopicta ‘Alba’


I received a beautiful Agave americana var. mediopicta ‘Alba’ pup from a generous gardener I don’t even know, and I want to give her a shout-out.

While reading Kathleen Scott’s Foliage Follow-Up post last month over at Hill Country Mysteries, I admired one of these beautiful, striped agaves. Kathleen told me that she’d obtained it as a pup from her friend and neighbor Lela Dyson. Not long afterward, she mentioned to Lela that I liked it. Before you could say “awesome agave,” Lela had potted up a pup for me, and Kathleen made a special trip to bring it to me.

What generous gardeners! My thanks to both of them!

A mature mediopicta ‘Alba’ is simply stunning; click to see a photo by Debra Lee Baldwin. If you’re interested in growing this agave in the Austin area, here is what Lela told me about it:

This is the medio-picta ‘Alba’ variety of Agave Americana and stays relatively small. Perhaps 3-4 feet tall and 4-5 feet wide after several years. Mine was given to me by one of my staff about nine years ago and was about the size of the one Kathleen took to you. It’s now about 2 feet tall and perhaps 2 1/2 feet wide. Some of the pups that I transplanted at the same time, however, have grown much faster in the ground and are now about half the size of the mother.

The first one that I saw for sale was at Gardenville [in San Marcos] in 2007. It was $60 and hadn’t sold as of last fall. The staff there were the ones who assured me that this agave would do fine in the ground….I worried a bit when I left them uncovered earlier this month when we had temperatures of 12-15 degrees, but none were damaged. Beautiful and hardy.

Wildseed Farms had three or four in stock last summer, priced at $65 even though they’re smaller than the one at Gardenville….I’m so thankful that I had a friend who shared this lovely plant with me and am happy to introduce them to others.

Happy growing!
Lela

Thanks again, Lela! You can be sure I’ll share the bounty with other gardeners if it grows well for me and starts producing pups of its own.

All material © 2006-2010 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

25 Responses

  1. Darla says:

    What a great addition to your gardens…and yes mam, Gardener’s are the GREATEST!!!

  2. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    You lucky lady. What a beautiful gesture and a wonderful plant.

  3. Gail says:

    Very thoughtful and a perfect present for you! It will be splendid in your garden! gail

  4. Eric Hegwer says:

    Wow, that’s a great specimen. If I know you, you will still be blogging in 5 years, and then can show off yours!

  5. Janet says:

    That is wonderful! Great looking Agave. Very good news on its hardiness.

  6. Robin says:

    That Agave might be one of the best one’s I’ve seen, Pam! Absolutely stunning. I’m anxious to see how it does for you.

    It’s a beauty. When it starts pupping I’ll save one for you, if you like. —Pam

  7. Tatyana says:

    What a gift! Gardeners are great people.

  8. Hi Pam, I enjoyed your blog and was happy to have a chance to bring something you wanted. Thanks for getting the ID!

    I had no idea the Alba would grow to 4-5 feet wide! Lela’s plants are half that and mine are not a foot across. Oops–I’ve planted mine too close together. Glad to know now when it’s easy to move them. Nice to learn from each other.

    Thanks again, Kathleen. Actually, Lela ID’d it for me. I’d never come across the mediopicta ‘Alba’ in person, though I’d admired it from afar. It sounds about the same size as the A. ovatifolia (Whale’s Tongue), another medium-sized agave. —Pam

  9. Nicole says:

    What a beauty and what a lovely gesture. I saw those for $40 when I was in San Francisco two years ago and gave them a pass…

  10. Jayne says:

    What a beautiful agave and a wonderful gift.

  11. Aren’t gardeners just the best people!?

  12. This is a beautiful agave. What a nice thing for Kathleen and Lela to do.

  13. To make a special trip just to give you the plant is super nice. Plus it’s a great looking plant.

  14. Sheila says:

    A lovely little pup!

  15. melanie says:

    What generous gardening friends you have and what a lovely plant. Sadly, where I live Agaves are only suitable as houseplants. When I go to southern California this spring, I’m hoping to see the things I can only grow as houseplants, growing outside.

  16. Lori says:

    That agave is GORGEOUS! :)

  17. Cindy says:

    I am enjoying your agave themes these days. I visited Carolyn Schmidt’s site of truly inspired art. I am enjoying this winter through your blog.

  18. Diana says:

    How cool. I think I have two of these babies that I planted in August. I loved clicking on the link to see the adults – wow is right. I got them specifically for their smaller size, but secretly thought that the labeling might be a lie! So glad to know more about them and to know you were given such a special gift. Passalongs are just the best!

  19. Pam says:

    What a fun surprise! Now that I hold you fully responsible for my on-going agave fetish, I must look on this new one with envy! (Plant greed is a terrible, terrible thing). What a nice gift (and it’s so cool that they have little baby agaves – my one now has two little babies that I’ll pot up this spring for someone).

  20. The mediopicta is so beautiful. I look around my garden at my now mature agave pups and remember those who gave them to me. Congratulations on your wonderful gift :^)

  21. What a thoughtful gesture and what a stunning plant at maturity. Those agaves always make me want to move someplace much warmer — esp. on a day when it’s snowing again.

  22. Something about this agave looks very Art Deco to me!

  23. Melissa says:

    I would kill to be able to grow this! Unfortunately the DC area is two zones too cold. And I don’t have a sunny enough place indoors to overwinter it in a pot. Enjoy that “pup” and treat us to more photos as it grows!

  24. Jean says:

    Nice to hear about such a hardy agave! I saw this one in a catalog and almost choked on the price. Gardeners are most generous.

  25. Lola says:

    That sure is a pretty pup.

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