Agave parryi var. truncata

This slow-growing, clumping agave has short blue-gray leaves and grows two to three feet tall and two to four feet wide, resembling an artichoke, as its common name implies. It has dark reddish-brown teeth along its margins and a terminal spine. The variety truncata is more compact than Agave parryi var. huachucensis. It produces a tall, bold fifteen- to twenty-foot high flower spike in the summer. The flowers start out pink or red and then turn a golden yellow. After blooming, the mother plant dies, but the plant develops offsets that continue to grow. It tolerates most soil as long as it is well-draining. The artichoke agave enjoys full sun and reflected heat, but can also grow in partial shade. The plant is drought-resistant but likes supplemental irrigation during the hot summer and will rot if over-watered. It is also hardy to fifteen degrees Fahrenheit or lower. The plant is susceptible to the agave snout weevil, so treat it as needed. Use it in containers and rock gardens, as an accent plant, or in masses or groupings with other desert natives. It is native to southern Chihuahua and northern Durango in Mexico.

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