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Products > Agave bovicornuta 'Holstein'
Agave bovicornuta 'Holstein' - Variegated Cow Horn Agave
Image of Agave bovicornuta 'Holstein'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (now Asparagaceae)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Yellow/Chartreuse Foliage: Yes
Variegated Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow Green
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: 3-5 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Agave bovicornuta 'Holstein' (Cow Horn Agave) - This is a boldly variegated selection of the already quite attractive Cow Horn Agave, Agave bovicornuta. The species is a medium-sized solitary plant to 2 ˝ to 3 feet tall by 4 to 5 feet wide with an open rosette of 24 to 30 inch long by 5 ˝ to 6 ˝ inches wide yellow-green to medium green leaves that are widest in the middle. The leaf blades are have large reddish dark-brown teeth on large teats, some recurving back towards the base and others towards the leaf tip, which has a short stout terminal spine. The broad leaf surfaces are further decorated by impressions (crenulated bud imprints) made by the margins of other leaves as they emerge from the center of growth and the new leaves have an attractive satiny finish. This selection adds even more to the beauty of this plant by having a broad creamy yellow band in the middle of the leaf. Like the species this plant has taken full sun along the coast but will likely require light shade inland, especially in hot interior valleys and deserts. Plant in a well-drained soil and irrigate infrequently or more occasionally for more rapid growth. The species is noted as hardy to around 20° F by some references (some report as low as 15° F) but Mary and Gary Irish state in “Agaves, Yuccas and Related Plants” that “It should be protected anytime the temperature goes below 25° F". We concur with this as we saw light damage on the leaf margins and yellowing on Agave bovicornuta in a Santa Barbara garden when temperatures dipped below 25° F in January 2007. This is a great plant for planting in the garden or in containers. This plant was a sport of Agave bovicornuta found at San Marcos Growers by field supervisor Arturo Garcia. San Marcos Growers named the plant 'Holstein' as a play on the specific epithet "bovicornuta" which is from the Latin words 'bovis' meaning "cow" and 'cornutus' meaning "horned" in reference to the leaf margin of this plant, coupled with the black and white coloration of the Holstein cow (ie it is a variegated cow). The cultivar name 'Holstein' with images of the plant was first presented by Randy Baldwin at the International Plant Propagators Western Conference meeting in San Diego on October 1, 2009 for his talk "Agave Propagation: Seeds, tissue culture & cuttings". Randy repeated this presentation at Agave Summit III on October 11, 2009. The nursery is building stock on this plant with intention of releasing it in 2011. For more information on this species please see our listing for Agave bovicornutaInformation displayed on this page about  Agave bovicornuta 'Holstein' is based on the research conducted about it in our library and from reliable online resources. We also note those observations we have made of this plant as it grows in the nursery's garden and in other gardens, as well how crops have performed in our nursery field. We will incorporate comments we receive from others, and welcome to hear from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if they share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.