Another agave at the Ruth Bancroft Garden that was particularly interesting to me was Agave potatorum. Every time I note a individual of this plant I seem to see a different form. Some have straight terminal spines while others are wildly crooked (a friend of mine calls these gimlet or swizzle sticks), some have terminal spines that are a bright red, while others a dark brown. This one at the Ruth Bancroft Garden has straight reddish spines and is a stunning looking plant.
Agave potatorum from Tehuacan in the Ruth Bancroft Garden.
Another Agave potatorum at the Ruth Bancroft Garden was this beautiful ruffled-looking form that Brian Kemble collected south of Tehuacan. I am ever amazed at the variability of this species. We grow a seedling form of Agave potatorum that it very nice but would sure like to get my hands on a plant such as the one pictured below in a Santa Barbara Garden with the red gimlet stick terminal spines. It is most unfortunate that Agave potatorum is a solitary species that does not pup.
Swizzle stick Agave potatorum in a Santa Barbara garden.