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Products > Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue'
Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue' - Whale's Tongue Agave

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (now Asparagaceae)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Green Yellow
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Height: 3-4 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue' (Whale's Tongue Agave) - A solitary (non-offsetting) succulent that grows from 2 to 5 feet tall by 3 to 6 feet wide with a rounded rosette of short, wide gray leaves that are distinctively cupped. Leaves have small teeth along their margins and a 1 inch long dark gray terminal spine. This particularly nice form was selected by Sean Hogan of Cistus Nursery who notes that "it has an almost turquoise hue and some nice powdery overlay (oh, and a smoky after finish!). It has been noted that this species has stayed smaller in hot dry locations where water has been withheld but responds well to irrigation and grows much larger. When this plant flowers it forms a 10-14 foot tall spike with greenish-yellow flowers. Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil. A drought tolerant plant but plants grow considerably larger when given regular irrigation. Has proven hardy down to at least 4-5 F. This Agave occurs naturally at elevations from 3,700 to 7,000 feet int the Sierra de Lampazos in northern Nuevo Leon in northeastern Mexico. It was originally collected and distributed by Mrs Anna Nickels as Agave "Noah" but was never properly described or published under this name. This plant was synonymized with Agave wislizenii by Trelease in 1911 and more recently included with A. parryii. It was properly described as Agave ovatifolia by Greg Starr and Jose Angel Villareal (STARR G, VILLARREAL JAQ. 2002. Agave ovatifolia (Agavaceae) Una Nueva Especie De Maguey Del Noreste De Mexico. Sida 20 (2): 495-499. There is speculation that this plant was distributed in California unnamed but there is no documentation on this or information how this plant performs in cultivation in California. As it is similar and related to Agave parryi the presumption is that it will grow as well as Agave parryi does in cultivation - so far this has proven true. Our original stock plants of the species plants were purchased from Starr Nursery in 2004. The specific epithet, from the Latin words 'ovatus' for "egg" and 'folius' for "leaves" is in reference to the broad ovate leaves and the common name, whale's tongue agave, also describes the leaf shape. Images of this plant on our website courtesy of Santa Barbara landscape designer Pat Brodie.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We have also incorporated comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing  Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue'.