The artichoke agave

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Artichoke agave (Agave parryi var. truncata) makes gorgeous rosettes (thus the common name) and spreads with numerous pups. They get about 3' tall and wide. 

Eventually, they produce a 15-foot stalk with bright yellow blooms, and like all agaves die after blooming, as all leaf and root resources are put into the stalk, flowers, and seeds. The pups will continue to grow and live. 

Plant in well-drained soil. This is a low-water succulent but likes some additional water in the summer (top zone).  Artichoke agave can take full to light shade. 

Found only along the Durango-Zacatecas border in Mexico, this agave grows in grasslands at 7500 feet in elevation and is hardy to about 10º F. Moths and bats love the flowers of agave, but many nectar-loving organisms visit the flowers. 

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Katherine Gierlach