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

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

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

  3. Pustules you made me read the word pustules.

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

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

  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...

  7. It looks like you've captured a moment frozen in time with a rare photo.


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