Potatorum?

TT, zone 5b MADecember 10, 2012

Hi Agave fans -

I bought this a bunch of years ago as A. potatorum, but now I am not so sure. As it gets older, the leaves seem to be elongating a bit...perhaps this is normal? I don't think it is lack of light as I grow it in full sun during the growing season, and it sits is a sunny south facing window all winter.

There are so many variations of potatorum it is hard to be sure which one I might have...any input is appreciated!

Tom

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cactusmcharris

Hi Tom,

Agreed about the variations - they seem endless. Does it pup for you and that's your oldest one? Mine pups prolifically and it looks like yours, somewhat....Yours sure has pleasing knuckle-puncturing pointies

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 8:42PM
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GeeS 9b

A. potatorum is actually solitary, the plant in Post #2 is of unknown origin and called A. 'Confederate Rose'.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 8:46PM
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TT, zone 5b MA

@Jeff - Mine does pup profusely...this is the mama (is that how you spell 'mama'? or is it momma?...). Very nice plant you have there, btw. Your leaves look a little thicker and flatter than mine.

@GermanStar - so, are you saying that potatorum does not pup? I have a few other alleged potatorums (kissho kan...var. verschaffeltii...) and they all pup profusely. Any opinion on what the plant in post #1 is?

Thanks.

Tom

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 9:37PM
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TT, zone 5b MA

...I think mine could be 'confederate rose', too...here is a pic I found online claiming to be confederate rose (looks more like mine than Jeff's, though...)...

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 9:51PM
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GeeS 9b

'Kissho Kan' is an A. isthmensis cultivar, rather than A. potatorum.

If the plant in Post #1 pups profusely, I would go with 'Confederate Rose' there as well.

A. potatorum may throw a pup or two when very young, so it isn't completely unheard of, just rare. A. isthmensis, A. seemanniana (aka A. pygmae), and A. potatorum are similar and frequently confused.

This post was edited by GermanStar on Tue, Dec 11, 12 at 0:15

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 10:13PM
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chadec(N.C.7b)

My confederate rose came labeled as A. parrasana. I wish if someone is going to go through the trouble to create a hybrid that they would at least keep up with the ssp.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 11:48AM
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GeeS 9b

I remember the A. parrasana tag -- ridiculous. I recall a lengthy discussion on XW about this plant, and in the end, no one had a clue...

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 11:54AM
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TT, zone 5b MA

I wonder if 'Confederate Rose' is covered in Greg Starr's new book...I will have to check when I get home...

Tom

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 12:09PM
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cactusmcharris

GS,

So its proper name is Agave potatorum 'Confederate Rose' or just plain old Agave 'Confederate Rose'? Thanks for the proper ID for it. Do you want one of these?

Tom,

Find out for us, will you? If he doesn't have it in his book, it's something else to harass him about (he claims he still has 20 years to revise Gentry's book, as Gentry took 50 years to issue his opus magnum).

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 12:44PM
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GeeS 9b

I suppose it should just be called A. 'Confederate Rose'. It is not A. potatorum, a much larger, solitary plant.

Not in Greg's book, no.

Here is my example of A. potatorum. Believe me, I only wish it would offset. It will outgrow this pot soon, and I'll almost have to put it in the ground to face the elements, where the first bad cold spell might swat it dead.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 1:33PM
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cactusmcharris

GS,

Is it always variegated, The Pototorum, or is that a cultivar, like 'Kichijokan'? It sure is a pretty thing. You could repot into fresh soil, root-pruning it and put it back into the same pot. I'll offer my humble self to be the pin cushion when I visit you. Juggling agaves for fun is just part of what we do.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 2:19PM
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GeeS 9b

No, in fact, rarely variegated. That is A. potatorum 'Snowfall'. It tripled in size this year and reaches about 3' in diameter. At 18" (8" just nine months ago), it's still a baby. I'll probably plant it out somewhere this Spring and hope for the best, along with an A. tequilana 'Sunrise' (also tender) that's suffering in a pot.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 2:45PM
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minime8484

My Agave potatorum 'Cameron' is a really fast grower for an Agave - started as a small plant c. 6-7" dia. in early 2008, and now is over 3ft in diameter and really crowding out the GB!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 5:17PM
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GeeS 9b

Very nice! Did it take much damage winter before last?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 5:54PM
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minime8484

If you look at the leaves nearest the ground in the front you can see some of the damage from the winter before last. The freezes burnt the ends of the largest leaves. I didn't see any impact to the younger leaves.
Of course, the plant was quite a bit smaller then too.
Here's a photo of the plant taken in November 2009...I think this was a year before the bad winter, right?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:06PM
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GeeS 9b

That's not bad at all. I wonder about A. potatorum and A. isthmensis in particular, in regard to hardiness. Each plant is considered 10a, yet I've heard anecdotal evidence these plant are not as tender as reported. I'm assuming you didn't take extraordinary measures (i.e. provide a covered heat source), and your plant survived at least a couple long low-to-mid-twenties nights. And being a fast grower, I'll bet it looked pretty nice again by the time mid-summer came rolling along. I had several plants killed by those two 3-day cold snaps, and though only one Agave bit the dust, a few more were looking pretty ragged for a while.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:51PM
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minime8484

Yeah - no measures to protect it at all, and that winter we got down to the low-mid twenties a couple of times at least...coupled with the wind, it was misery! And it did indeed seem to recover quickly.
Probably my most affected Agave was my A. macroacantha - most distal 1-2" of each leaf was burned...and, it took until this spring for it to really recover so as you don't notice the damage without looking for it.
My only Agave concerns now are ones I obtained just this year, so I'll keep an eye on them closely (chazaroi, nizandensis, & pelona) and may even cover them once we drop to 30-32 to be safe.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 7:31PM
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GeeS 9b

A. pelona is good down to about 20ðF, so not a concern. On the other end, A. nizandensis is a reported 10b plant, so very tender. I have mine potted, it can never see ground in my neighborhood -- all manner of vermin could chew that pathetic little thing to a stub in no time. I may as well plant Aeoniums in my yard.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 8:18PM
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minime8484

Good news about A. pelona! I was worried about that one for some reason...it just 'looks' so delicate! = )
My A. nizandensis has been in-ground since January 1st last year, so made it through half a winter already.
When cold-stressed, it took on a really maroon-ish color (starting to now), and when it warmed back up in Spring, it went green again. It's a favorite of mine, so I am hoping it will be OK! I'll definitely keep an eye on it of the temps drop too much more. (had ice crystals in the bird bath this morning!)
I feel for you with vermin...I'm just luck thrashers haven't taken a liking to my Agaves. Yet.
Thanks for the great info!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:47PM
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