Agave attenuata on every street corner
Agave attenuata drives me crazy. In Davis, it requires constant pampering. In the winter it needs to be protected when temperatures get close to freezing, otherwise it will turn into a brown mush. In the summer it needs to be kept out of the hot sun, otherwise it will scorch.
And yet in Southern California, Agave attenuata is everywhere. It seems to pop up on its own, much like a weed. Do gardeners here appreciate it at all, considering how effortlessly it grows? Or do they not even notice it anymore?
And would I be as obsessed with it if it were this ridiculously easy to cultivate in Davis?
And is the meaning of life still 42?
Agave attenuata packed tight…
…so tight, the rosettes are hanging over the edge
Look how perfect they are
This one reminded me of a hog mama with her piglets
Little baby agaves emerging from the stem of the mother plant
Across the street from the first building
And a little further up the street
A clump in a hell strip
Heck, it’s not even a hell strip…
…it’s a hell hole!
How does it even get watered? It’s not like Santa Barbara is blessed with abundant rainfall (the average is 15” annually).
A few miles down the road from Santa Barbara, in the lovely beach town of Carpinteria, a clump of Agave attentuata contrasting nicely against a flannelbush (Fremontodendron californicum)
Another clump nearby under the same tree
Even in a climate this mild, Agave attenuata clearly enjoys a bit of shade
Looking at the flower spike, it’s easy to see why its common name is “foxtail agave”
Two more flowering rosettes
I was wondering whether Agave attenuata is so common in Southern California that nurseries might not even carry it. I was able to answer my own question when I saw these at Seaside Gardens in Carpinteria.
They carried both the common apple green form…
…and the even more stunning blue form sold as ‘Boutin Blue’
This is only day 2 of our Southern California trip so I may eventually tire of seeing so many Agave attenuata, but for now I still crane my neck when I spot one from the car.