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Products > Echeveria agavoides 'Ebony'
Echeveria agavoides 'Ebony' - Ebony Wax Agave
Image of Echeveria agavoides 'Ebony'
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrops)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Red & Yellow
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Height: <1 foot
Width: <1 foot
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25° F
Echeveria agavoides 'Ebony' (Ebony Wax Agave) - This succulent forms clusters of 10- to 12-inch-wide tight rosettes of fleshy, gray-green leaves that have vivid red edges most pronounced toward the dark red terminal spine. In early spring into summer appear the reddish pink flowers with yellow tips in cymes on 18 to 24 inch long simple or few branched inflorescences.

Best planted in a well-drained soil in a bright light or full sun (coastal) but will take considerable shade at some expense of the red coloration. Irrigate infrequently to occasionally. Cold hardy to at least 25° F as it was undamaged and unprotected during our cold spell in January 2007 with 3 nights to this temperature. Some Echeveria agavoides varieties such as the cultivar 'Maria' are thought to be hardy to at least 14° F. This cultivar is notable for its vivid dark coloration and is a great plant in pots, a pathway edging or in a rock garden.

Echeveria is a member of the large Crassula family (Crassulaceae) that has about 1,400 species in 33 genera with worldwide distribution. Echeveria, with approximately 180 species, come from mid to higher elevations in the Americas with the main distribution in Mexico and central America but with one species found from as far north as southern Texas and several species occurring as far south as Bolivia, Peru and possibly Argentina. The book "The genus Echeveria" by John Pilbeam (published by the British Cactus and Succulent Society, 2008) is an excellent source of information on the species and "Echeveria Cultivars" by Lorraine Schulz (AKA Rudolf Schulz) and Attila Kapitany (Schulz Publishing, 2005) has excellent photos and information on the cultivars and hybrids. It has been argued by some that the correct pronunciation for the genus is ed ek-e-ve'-ri-a, though ech-e-ver'-i-a seems more prevalent.

Echeveria agavoides is an extremely variable species that has leaves that range from almost entirely green to those that are pink and with some that have deep red markings along the leaf margins. The species generally inhabits rocky canyons and arid hillsides of Central Mexico and found in the states of Aguascalientes, Durango, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí and Zacatecas, though there are reports of it being found as far north as Coahuila and as far south as Oaxaca. The genus was named to honor Mexican botanical artist Atanasio Echeverría y Godoy in 1828 by French botanist Augustin Pyramus de Candolle (DeCandolle) who was impressed with Echeverría's drawings. Echeverría had accompanied the the Sessé and Mociño expedition (led by Martin de Sessé y Lacasta and Mariano Mociño Suárez de Figueroa) while exploring Mexico and northern Central America and he produced thousands of botanical illustrations. The specific epithet means "looking like an agave" in reference to this species narrow triangular leaves that are more acutely tipped than others in the genus. This resemblance also gives this species one of its alternate common names, Molded Wax Agave. It is also called Molded Wax, Molded Wax Plant, Wax Agave, Wax Echeveria and Carpet Echeveria.

The original plant of Echeveria agavoides 'Ebony' was wild collected in in Coahuila, Mexico by John Trager and Myron Kimnach and first distributed by the International Succulent Introduction as ISI#92-44 from cutting taken from plants at the Huntington Botanic Gardens (HBG#62638). Beginning at least by 2009, there began a great awareness by Korean plant collectors in the Echeveria being grown in California. We first noticed this international interest in Echeveria cante which grew but also in the Echeveria agavoides cultivars 'Maria' and 'Prolifera', but no Echeveria was more highly sought after than Echeveria agavoides 'Ebony' and stories of nice plants fetching as much as $700 began to circulate. We began working on growing this cultivar at San Marcos Growers since first receiving it in the succulent collection of Alice Waidhofer in 2004 and we also acquired stock of a form that appeared to be slightly larger with edges not quite as dark from Robin Stockwell at Succulent Gardens Nursery. We also received seed of this latter form from Tony Krock, then working at the nearby Terra Sol Garden Center. For some time, we sold just the seedlings which exhibited some variability but we have slowly built up stock by vegetative propagation of our original plants, and it is these plants that we able to sell in 2024. 

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