Not Your Grandmother’s Agave

While filming the pilot for my new show, Garden Earth™, I came across a plant at the Family Tree Nursery in Overland Park, Kansas that I think is a real winner: Agave schidigera ‘Durango Park.’ This lovely plant grows to 2-3’ across and 2’ tall, with dark green leaves an inch wide at their widest point. The foliage is decorated with white markings, but it’s most striking feature is the thin white marginal fibers that form a soft haze about the leaves. Truly exceptional!

Agave schidigera 'Durango Park'

Agave schidigera 'Durango Park'

I know many people think agaves are rather common; they were over-used favorites of the Victorians, and from that developed a bad rep. But recently there’s been a considerable resurgence in garden circles for species, like the agave, adapted to low water conditions, and plants like ‘Durango Park’ truly deserve a second look. This cultivar, by the way, was grown from seed collected in Mexico along the highway to Durango, which only goes to show that it pays to keep your eyes open for interesting new plants wherever you travel. ‘Durango Park’ requires full sun, and is hardy to 15º F, meaning that for us Northern gardeners, it’s a candidate for pot culture.

The Plant at a Glance
The Plant at a Glance: Agave schidgera ‘Durango Park’
Common Name: Agave
Zone: 8?-11 (hardy to 15º)
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Agavaceae
Native Range: Northern Mexico
Height: 2-3′
Spread: 2′
Bloom Time: summer
Bloom Color: 10-12′ deep purple
Sun: Full sun
Water: dry
Maintenance: Low

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