Our Plants

September 2003 Plant Highlight: Agave potrerana
  Image of A. potrerana   Image of A. potrerana flower

This species is found at elevations between 5,000 and 8,000 feet in northern Coahuila and Chihuahua, in oak-pine-grassland habitats.  This part of north-central Mexico gets temperatures well below freezing in winter, and this Agave is quite cold-hardy in cultivation, enduring temperatures at least down to the low 20’s Fahrenheit without injury.

A. potrerana belongs to the group Marginatae, but has no close relatives within the group.  It is not often seen in cultivation and is hard to find in nurseries, although it was offered by the International Succulent Institute in one of their annual plant lists years ago.  The plants are single, with green or blue-green leaves about 3 feet long.  These are reported to be an excellent source of strong fiber. 

The densely-flowered inflorescence, which appears in summer, is unbranched and ranges from 12 feet to over 20 feet tall.  Flower color is listed as “pink to red or yellow,” and the bright-red filaments with yellow anthers create a very showy display.  Our specimen at the Ruth Bancroft Garden has buds of a grayish purple-pink color, with the open flowers becoming pink.

Text and Photos by Brian Kemble

Mission Statement
The mission of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, Inc. is to preserve this exceptional example of garden design and to continue to develop its collection of water-conserving plants for the education and enjoyment of the public.
Centennial Celebration
We are celebrating Garden Founder Ruth Bancroft's 100th year throughout 2009. If you would like to get involved in this historic milestone, you can help by contributing to the Centennial Fund or by attending on of our many special events this year.
Grant Funders
The Ruth Bancroft Garden would like to recognize the Quest Foundation for funding our Education Coordinator’s position, and the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust for funding our Volunteer Coordinator’s position, as well as for their generous support over the years.
The Ruth Bancroft Garden GardenConservancy