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Products > Agave 'Cream Spike'
Agave 'Cream Spike' - Cream Spike Agave

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Agave 'Cream Spike'
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (now Asparagaceae)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Variegated Foliage: Yes
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Synonyms: [A. parryi minima variegata, A. applanata cv.]
Height: <1 foot
Width: <1 foot
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Agave 'Cream Spike' (Cream Spike Agave) - A small rosette-forming succulent that grows to only 4 inches tall by about 6 inches wide with olive green leaves margined with cream-colored edges and dark brown spines. The margins occasionally have a seasonal slight flush of red at the leaf tip and base. It grows well in light shade or full coastal sun but may require protection in hotter climates. Plant in a well-drained soil and irrigated little to occasionally. Though good hardiness information on this cultivar has not been fully documented it has been winter hardy unprotected in Santa Barbara and will likely tolerate temperatures down to at least 15 degrees F. It is a great small container plant. Our plants came from the plant collection of Alice Waidhofer of Stockton, CA. In this collection there was an near identical plant labeled Agave patonii 'Dwarf Variegata'. These plants and other similar cultivars are also sometimes labeled with names such Agave minima 'Variegata', Agave patonii marginata or 'Alba Marginata' but all such names are invalid due to rules of nomenclature - cultivars described after 1959 cannot have Latinized cultivar names. The late Rick Nowakowski of Natures Curiosity Shop told us that he grew this plant since the late 1980's and indicated that he first received it as Agave patonii marginata from Japan but the actual introduction date and original breeder has not been determined. Agave patonii has more recently been subsumed into Agave parryi but there are many that don't believe this plant to be a cultivar of Agave parryi; Brian Kemble at the Ruth Bancroft Garden suggests it may be a cultivar of Agave applanata and this suggestion seems quite plausible to us. Noted agavephile Greg Starr agrees and has taken to list this plant as a cultivar of this species. Until such time as we can retrace its origins we have decided to call this beauty Agave 'Cream Spike'. Our thanks to John Trager for suggesting this name and to Tony Avent, who after receiving this plant from us, sent it to a micro propagation laboratory, enabling us to sell the plant several years earlier than we had anticipated. Unfortunately in more recent years this plant has suffered from Cochineal scale infestations. This white tufted insect is stationary and permanently mars the leaves with light yellow spots and where is feeding and it has been so difficult to completely control that we have discontinued producing it. Fortunately the similar plant, which we now list under the name Agave patonii 'Alba Marginata' has not been so effected and so we are now only growing it. 

This information about Agave 'Cream Spike' displayed on this web page is based on research we have conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations we have made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens visited, as well how our crops have performed in containers in the nursery field. Where appropriate, we will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing this plant.