Saturday, January 17, 2015

ASDM: Agaves in the snow

New Year’s Day in Tucson started out with a bang: a dusting of snow in the foothills and mountains! I will never forget driving over Gates Pass that morning:

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There was less snow at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (ASDM), but still enough to make a place I’m fairly familiar with look new and different.

In my previous post I showed you how the Desert Museum protects its tender cacti. This post is all about agaves—agaves in the snow. I think agaves are great at any time of year, but a coating of that white stuff from the sky makes them look extra special.

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Octopus agave (Agave vilmoriniana)

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Octopus agave (Agave vilmoriniana)

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Agave colorata

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Agave chrysoglossa

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Agave chrysoglossa

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Agave americana

150101_ASDM_0031_Agave palmeri

Agave palmeri, a highly variable species

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Agave palmeri

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Agave shawii

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Agave shawii subsp. goldmaniana

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Agave pelona

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Agave pelona

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Agave parryi var. huachucensis

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Agave parryi var. huachucensis

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Agave parryi var. huachucensis

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Agave parryi var. huachucensis

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Agave parryi var. huachucensis

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Agave parryi var. couesii

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Bloomed out Agave murphyi

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Agave zebra

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Agave cerulata (not sure which subspecies)

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Agave cerulata subsp. nelsonii

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Agave sobria

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Agave subsimplex

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Agave deserti

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Agave gigantensis (named after the Sierra de la Giganta in Baja California Sur)

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Agave gigantensis

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Agave gigantensis and teddy bear cholla (Cylindropuntia bigelovii)

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Agave gigantensis

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Agave gigantensis

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Agave chrysantha (best guess on my part; no label)

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Same agave from the other side—the snow had already melted there

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Queen Victoria agave (Agave victoria-reginae)

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Queen Victoria agave (Agave victoria-reginae)

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Agave × arizonica, a naturally occurring hybrid between Agave chrysantha and Agave toumeyana var. bella. This a compact agave perfect for a shallow bowl like this one near the Ironwood Terraces Restaurant

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Hybrid between Agave bovicornuta and Agave colorata (plant 1)

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Hybrid between Agave bovicornuta and Agave colorata (plant 2)

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Hybrid between Agave bovicornuta and Agave colorata (plant 2)

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Agave colorata

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Agave colorata

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Another Agave colorata, this one getting ready to flower

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Agave bovicornuta

Some of these agave species are fairly tender, such as Agave bovicornuta, Agave shawii and Agave gigantensis (all hardy to 25°F), but the low that night was around 28°F so they were fine.

UPDATE: This post lists the cold tolerance of 120 agave taxa. The same list can be accessed from the “Agave Cold Tolerance” link in the menu bar at the top of any page.

RELATED POST:

2014 Desert Trip index

10 comments:

  1. It all looks extra pretty with a dusting of snow on them!

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  2. Wonderful photos! And a great -- and very helpful -- frost hardiness reference. Thanks for such beautiful documentation.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Luisa. I just added more information on the cold tolerance of agaves. Click here.

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  3. This is the last thing I'm reading before turning out the lights and going to sleep, it will be sweet agave dreams for me tonight! (Thank you!)

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  4. All so pretty! I really want to visit this place!

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