Shaw's Agave

Shaw's Agave


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Succulentopedia

Agave shawii (Coastal Agave)

Agave shawii (Coastal Agave) is a succulent that forms rosettes of green leaves with a variable pattern of marginal teeth and a terminal…


The plant is native to California coastal sage and chaparral habitats, along the Pacific Coast of northern Baja California state of Mexico and southwesternmost San Diego County of California. It is much more common in the wild in Baja California than in San Diego County, where urban development has essentially wiped out the plant's native habitats. [6] In a preservation effort, Shaw's Agaves were introduced into the Torrey Pines State Reserve and Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego, California and have established themselves. [7] There is also large colony of Shaw's Agave in the San Diego Botanic Garden located in Encinitas, California with nearly 100 specimens. The San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center in Encinitas also has Shaw's Agaves planted as part of their California native plant xeriscaping. There are also some specimens in the cactus garden portion of Friendship Park, located on the border divide between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico.

Agave shawii is a very slow-growing, small-to-medium-sized agave, with green ovate leaves 20–50 cm long and 8–20 cm wide, and a variable pattern of marginal teeth. When it blooms at the end of its life, the large, clubby inflorescence forms a panicle 2–4 meters in height, whose 8–14 lateral umbels are subtended by large purple bracts. Each umbel consists of a mass of yellowish or reddish flowers.

It generally flowers February to May, and as typical for agaves, the rosette dies thereafter. Although capable of reproducing by suckering, populations vary considerably in their behavior, with some consisting entirely of individual rosettes, while others form groups or colonies of clones.

Varieties and subspecies Edit

  • Agave shawii var. shawii[8]
  • Agave shawii subsp. goldmaniana (Trel.) Gentry — generally larger, with longer (40–70 cm) lanceolate leaves, and 18–25 umbels on a 3–5 meter stem, and predominates in the desert of the central peninsula.

Agave shawii is cultivated as an ornamental plant, by specialty plant nurseries. It is used in cactus and succulent gardens, and for drought tolerant and wildlife gardens.

This agave species is frost tender, with damage starting at −5 °C and becoming extensive at −8 °C. Plants in containers have been able to survive 18 °F with no damage located on the Central Coast. Frost cloth has also allowed plants to survive well with temperatures well below freezing for long periods (days) without damage.

Plants enjoy a sandy loam soil that has good drainage. Roots are very rapid responders to rain and dry plants have been documented to start growing feeder (rain) roots within 3 hours after exposure to the rain. Plants are subjected to mealybug attack and systemic treatments should be used regularly. Plants develop best color when exposed to full sun along the coast. Some relief from the hot afternoon sun in the inland valleys would provide the best results for growers. A slow growing plant, the young may take 5 years to reach a good 2 gallon container size. Plants bloom from 30 years old on, with prolific pupping prior to dying post flowering. Seeds are best sown fresh with no stratification required.


Cultivation [ edit ]

Agave shawii is cultivated as an ornamental plant, by specialty plant nurseries. It is used in cactus and succulent gardens, and for drought tolerant and wildlife gardens.

This agave species is frost tender, with damage starting at −5 °C and becoming extensive at −8 °C. Plants in containers have been able to survive 18 °F with no damage located on the Central Coast. Frost cloth has also allowed plants to survive well with temperatures well below freezing for long periods (days) without damage.

Plants enjoy a sandy loam soil that has good drainage. Roots are very rapid responders to rain and dry plants have been documented to start growing feeder (rain) roots within 3 hours after exposure to the rain. Plants are subjected to mealybug attack and systemic treatments should be used regularly. Plants develop best color when exposed to full sun along the coast. Some relief from the hot afternoon sun in the inland valleys would provide the best results for growers. A slow growing plant, the young may take 5 years to reach a good 2 gallon container size. Plants bloom from 30 years old on, with prolific pupping prior to dying post flowering. Seeds are best sown fresh with no stratification required.


Agave Species, Coastal Agave, Shaw's Agave

Category:

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Foliage:

Foliage Color:

Height:

Spacing:

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

Where to Grow:

Danger:

Plant has spines or sharp edges use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant break open to collect seeds

Regional

This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Huntington Beach, California

North Hollywood, California

Panama City Beach, Florida

Gardeners' Notes:

On Feb 1, 2012, Baja_Costero from Baja California,
Mexico (Zone 11) wrote:

A variable species. Endemic to Baja California, extending north into Southern California, where its numbers are more limited. The northern ssp. shawii is generally smaller and found in coastal areas with a mild, often foggy climate, while ssp. goldmanniana occurs further south and ranges inland (where it is hotter and drier). Similar-looking species found elsewhere include A. gentryi, A. montana, and A. salmiana.

Rainfall in NW BC (about 5-10" a year) occurs in fall through spring, mostly in winter. Summers are dry, but temperatures are limited to about 90°F/32°C in the maritime zone. Flowering generally starts in late fall and continues through the winter. The inflorescence of the northern form is about 2m tall, branched, and starts out covered in large purple or green brac. read more ts. The flowers are bright yellow. Plants die after they flower but frequently offset and thus can survive for a long time as a clonal colony.

In cultivation this plant is fast-growing (1-2 years to gallon size) and quite tolerant of extended drought when established. Allow plenty of extra space in the garden as many (not all) plants offset profusely when they are prospering, giving rise to a very attractive, fiercely armed clump over time.

On Nov 12, 2004, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Can withstand heat very well, may need a little extra water occasionally in the hotter, dryer desert areas.
Reaches about 3 feet, with a 15 to 40 foot flower stalk after a 15 year life.

On Feb 5, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Attractive bright green leaved plant that suckers profusely. Large terminal spine and many large, sometimes hooked lateral spines (careful!). A native of here (So Cal, and Baja California). It might be considered endangered. Very drought tolerant.


Shaw's Agave, Century Plant Shaw's Agave, Coastal Agave

Particularly stunning when lit by the morning or late afternoon sun, Agave shawii (Coastal Agave) is an evergreen, perennial succulent forming a rosette of fleshy, sword-shaped, green leaves which radiate gracefully from the center of the plant, giving it a neat and rounded shape. They are lined with gray spines which exhibit coral, gold, pink or red shades when backlit, adding intriguing beauty. While infrequent, mature plants (over 10 years) flower only once. They are topped with a magnificent flowering spike that can reach 12 ft. (4m), and bears clusters of yellow flowers. The flowering rosette dies after flowering, but new rosettes formed by offsets will root to form colonies.

  • Grows up to 2-3 ft. tall and wide (60-90 cm).
  • Easily grown in slightly acidic, sandy or gravelly, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates part shade, particularly in hot desert gardens where some shade will prevent scorching of the foliage. Little irrigation is required and regular summer irrigation is harmful to this plant. Dry soil and drought tolerant.
  • Great for beds and borders, city gardens, rock gardens, succulent gardens or Mediterranean gardens. Ideal as an accent plant in sunny borders or in decorative containers.
  • Plant away from foot traffic: the needle-sharp spines on the leaf tips can be a hazard to humans and pets. Don't plant this Agave near paths or walkways
  • Attracts hummingbirds and birds but is deer resistant
  • Virtually disease free. Watch for scale insects.
  • Propagate by offsets.
  • Use caution, safety glasses, long sleeves, long pants, well covered shoes, and gloves when cutting this plant.
  • Native to Baja California and coastal southern California


Watch the video: San Diego Botanic Garden - Director of Conservation Horticulture, Tony Gurnoe presents .


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