Meet my rare black-leaved agave

Black is an elusive color in the plant realm, and even more so among succulents. Two new mangave introductions, ×Mangave 'Night Owl' and ×Mangave 'Black Magic', have leaves that are almost black in full sun—something no agave has been able to match. 

Until now.

Meet the ultra rare black-leaved form of Agave nizandensis:


The inky foliage color isn't its only special characteristic. The leaf form itself is noteworthy, twisting and curling like slightly overdone spiral-cut French fries.

Closer inspection reveals a matte sheen and occasional pustules that add visual interest to the otherwise smooth leaf surface.


This very rare form of Agave nizandensis emerged spontaneously in our garden after a chilly winter night in the high 20s. 

At this point, it's unclear whether propagation is possible. Maybe through tissue culture? If not, I may be the only person to have this extraordinary specimen in their collection.

Offers from prospective purchasers will be entertained.


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Comments

  1. Its...a...beauty? I have several extras to share--next time you are in the area.

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    1. How does that saying go? "So ugly only its momma could love it?"

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  2. Hee hee, do tell if propagation is successful. No doubt folk will be lining up...

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  3. Pustules you made me read the word pustules.

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  4. I'll be interested to hear whether you get any offers ;)

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  5. Not so rare after all. I have had a few of these too. Looking forward to hearing how propagation goes.

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  6. Humor is the best revenge! Coincidentally, I just planted a nizandensis crossed with a potatorum, a sweet little agave I'll be very bummed to lose. I am usually blissfully ignorant of hardiness issues, and yet I'm noticing some puckering damage on some leaves of my potted americana agaves this spring like 'Striata' -- I'm thinking it was strong sun and wind? It's always something...

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