This plant is a small clustering Agave that has circulated in California Cactus and Succulent circles since at least the mid 1990's. It forms tight clusters of 4 - 8 inch (~10 - 20 cm) wide rosettes with gray-green leaves that mound up on one another to form a dome shaped planting that can be 3 feet (~1m) or more across by about 18 inches (~1/2m) tall. Individual rosettes resemble a small Agave potatorum with strong bud imprints on upper and lower leaf surfaces. It has regularly spaced spines on the margins of the leaf and a long reddish brown terminal spine. In the summer of 2005 this plant sent up an inflorescence in a Santa Barbara garden and I am hoping that by posting pictures of this plant in flower someone may recognize it. I will continue to post pictures as flowering continues.
Agave 'Rosa Gorda' in a Santa Barbara garden starting to flower (June 16,2005)
The plants in this garden and several that I have in pots have come from different sources, both unlabled or with labels identifying them as Agave parrasana or Agave 'Rosa Gorda'. Ruth Bancroft Garden Curator, Brian Kemble, who authored an article titled "Agave parrasana" in the July/ August 2004 issue of Cactus & Succulent Society of America Journal has told me this plant is deinitely not Agave parrasana. I also can't find the name 'Rosa Gorda' in any Agave literature and while a few Agave collectors I have discussed this with are familiar with this plant, they do not know its name. The plant tagged as A. 'Rosa Gorda' came from the collection of Alice Waidhoffer (Stockton, CA) with a note that it was originally purchased in 1998 from South Bay Gardens. Most recently we note that Monterey Bay Nursery added it to their on-line informatio as new for 2010 under the name Agave 'Gray Puppy'.
Agave 'Rosa Gorda' flowering in a Santa Barbara garden (July 8,2005)
This plant appears similar to the Dwarf Blue on Maarten van Thiel's Agave Picture Site. I would appreciate anyone having an idea on this plant's name or where it came from to contact me.
Inflorescence of Agave 'Rosa Gorda' in a Santa Barbara garden (July 8,2005)
Flower of Agave 'Rosa Gorda' in a Santa Barbara garden (August 19,2005)