Succulent of the month-december 2017

A more in-depth look at individual succulent species, a new one is added each week.
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stefan m.
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Location: Skopje MK

Succulent of the month-december 2017

Post by stefan m. »

This months chosen plant, is among one of my personal favorites- the common american agave
Latin name : Agave americana
Alternatives :Various, including subspecies as protamericana,oaxacensis, expansa
Origin : Mexico and Usa
Habitat: Coastline,Desert, others
Sun exposure:full sun
Hardiness: Hardy to -10C'/10F
Watering requirements:Normal, slightly wet tolerant
Size:Varies with cultivar, 1m long leaves (average), 8 meter long stalk at maturity
Appearance: Rosette succulent plant, with jagged leaves, either glauscent , or has yellow lines on dark green leaves at various variegated cultivars, protective arrangement of rosette stem
Traits: Clumping, seed propagation, common
Flowers: Trimerous double, yellow, on long stalk, clumped
Flower period:Once in its lifetime- monocarpic
Famous for: Agaves , including americana areused in making various alcoholic spirits, whether it is "pineapple" like stem is used or its flower spike sap as a sugar source. In addition, its a very popular landscaping plant, and a invasive species in some areas of the world. Its popularity extends even to the point where its often portrayed in various western movies.
Care : Easy
Susceptibility: Scale, root rot(standard)
Extra-: Its colorful cultivars are unique story for themselves, but are worth mentioning-marginata and mediopicta.
Attachments
Courtesy to Dave"s garden for this photo
Courtesy to Dave"s garden for this photo
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Courtesy to cactus art for this one
Courtesy to cactus art for this one
medio_picta_alba_810.jpg (122.35 KiB) Viewed 5072 times
Courtesy to http://www.public.asu.edu
Courtesy to http://www.public.asu.edu
Agave americana clump.jpg (278.51 KiB) Viewed 5072 times
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ElieEstephane
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Re: Succulent of the month-december 2017

Post by ElieEstephane »

An amazing plant indeed! Very tolarant of extreme conditons. We grow them in lebanon from coast to mountains where 5hey are covered sometimes by more than a meter or snow for long periods. I have seen one more than 2.5m and 5m wide tall half covered by snow/ice (it's a shame it doesnt offset a lot because ibwant this massive cultivar). Tell me what cactus can go through that unharmed!
It is very tolarant of wet feet and frost and even manages to flower at high elevation snowy regions.
It has to be the queen of agaves if not all rosette succulents!
There are more cacti in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
One of the few cactus lovers in Lebanon (zone 11a) :mrgreen:
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stefan m.
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Re: Succulent of the month-december 2017

Post by stefan m. »

Ive actually seen some people growing this outside in their yards-HERE in all places.... And theyre way bigger then mine.
I think they need to re-evaluate the hardiness of this plant.
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ElieEstephane
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Re: Succulent of the month-december 2017

Post by ElieEstephane »

Agaves are not pot plants. Sometimes i repot them more than 3 times a year and they keep growing. Sometimes they will break the pot if they get crammed. The only reason i still havent put mine in the ground is that i still have lots of work and planning. In the meantime i have to deal with frequent repotting.
One last comment... after careful observations, i noticed that during winter and autumn rains, they throw out more roots than all summer! Maybe they work on their roots during this period and grow during summer.
There are more cacti in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
One of the few cactus lovers in Lebanon (zone 11a) :mrgreen:
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stefan m.
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Re: Succulent of the month-december 2017

Post by stefan m. »

Mine dont grow so fast.....but they are built like tanks.
One fell five stories down(14 metres) this summer during a severe windstorm, and survived with minor damage.
The pot on the other hand......
Its doing fine now.
But for the pot thing, depends on climate. here, one would have to wait 30 years to even get something close to maturity size.They are called "century plants" for a reason.
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ElieEstephane
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Re: Succulent of the month-december 2017

Post by ElieEstephane »

I consider americanas to be painfully slow growers compared to other common agaves. My desmettiana grew at least 5 times faster and the attenuatas maybe 3 times faster. However, none can compare wirh the beauty of the americana.
Maybe slow growth is attributed to less photosynthesis surface area although regular amaericana is not that fast either.
There are more cacti in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
One of the few cactus lovers in Lebanon (zone 11a) :mrgreen:
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stefan m.
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Re: Succulent of the month-december 2017

Post by stefan m. »

I know attenuata is more tropical than the americana... i think the same could be said for the desmettiana as well.
The main difference is that the leaves are thinner , wider, and the plants smaller than most of their arid counterparts.
If you compare them, they resemble some yuccas and furcraeas like foetida.
Im guessing that your assumption is somewhat correct based on the fact that the plants appearance is related to its metabolism.
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7george
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Re: Succulent of the month-december 2017

Post by 7george »

So called Century plant: it dies after the only bloom, even before it 100s anniversary. Some keep it in and out even in temperate climate but it is too big for me. Better enjoy it somewhere on the South.
Agave_4560.JPG
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If your cacti mess in your job just forget about the job.
°C = (°F - 32)/1.8
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stefan m.
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Re: Succulent of the month-december 2017

Post by stefan m. »

Actually, the usual bloom time in non tropical conditions is rounded up to 50 years.
It grows wild down in greece, but its much warmer there than here,(Mediterranean vs continental)
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