Our Plants

July 2004 Plant Highlight: Agave potatorum
Image of A. potatorum foliage   Image of A. potatorum flower

Agave potatorum is included in the group Hiemiflorae, whose members are found in southeastern Mexico and Central America. As a general rule, plants in this group have relatively short lateral branches on the inflorescence and tight ball-like clusters of flowers. They typically are winter-flowering, although Agave potatorum is a little earlier than most, with a September to December peak flowering time.

A. potatorum occurs from southern Puebla state down to central Oaxaca, and is quite variable. All its forms are very attractive as garden subjects, though not as cold-hardy as many of the more northerly-occurring species. Our flowering plant is a form with sinuous leaf margins, their toothy appearance being enhanced by the placement of the teeth atop the outward-projecting bumps. This form is often called by the old name of Agave verschaffeltii. In some populations of A. potatorum the branches of the inflorescence are so reduced that the flower clusters are clumped right along the stalk. Our plant, however, has evident branches. Although A. potatorum is most often found in nature as a single plant, this one produces offsets and forms a small clump

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