by Harry Gate
This month’s plant is Agave angustifolia v. marginata commonly called the Banded Carribean Agave. This is a very rugged, attractive, eye-catching plant with symmetrical narrow, stiff bayonet leaves liberally margined in creamy white. The rosettes can be 1 m in diameter with several leaves 50-80 cm long ending in 18 mm long terminal spine; inflorescence to 2.7 m tall. It is grown as an ornamental worldwide. Native from Costa Rica to Mexico (Sonora). Each rosette develops a trunk 40 cm high and produces offsets around the base, eventually forming clumps (I have seen a single plant in Florida with 20 to 30 offsets spreading to 15 feet away from the parent plant.) This is one of the few agaves that forms much of a stem. Fairly tropical, it grows quickly, but will not tolerate much frost. It order to maintain the variegated leaf margins, it must be propagated from cuttings.
This plant was photographed last week in a yard in St. Petersburg, Florida.
(The plant is already sending out offsets at the base of the plant.)