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Products > Agave potatorum 'Cherry Swizzle'
 
Agave potatorum 'Cherry Swizzle' - Cherry Swizzle Butterfly Agave
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (now Asparagaceae)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Synonyms: [A. scolymus, A. verschaffletii]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Agave potatorum 'Cherry Swizzle' (Swizzle Stick Butterfly Agave) - A GREAT selection of Agave potatorum, which is a medium-sized solitary agave that comes from the semi-arid highlands between 4,000 and 7,000 feet in Oaxaca and southern Puebla. As with the species, this plant has broad gray leaves that form in an open symmetrical rosette to 1 to 2 feet tall by 2 to 3 feet wide. The many 10 to 18 inch long leaves are slightly reflexed back near the tips with chestnut brown spines; the 1 inch long terminal spine is slightly wavy and the short marginal spines are on tubercle-like prominences. This selection differs in having the leaves cupped along the margins with marginal spines that are a nice red to chestnut brown color with a long red terminal spine that is often distinctively wavy, like a decorative swizzle stick used to garnish a fancy drink. When mature a flower spike rises 10 to 20 feet bearing light green flowers tinged with red and subtended with red bracts. This agave rarely offsets so, after maturing, which in our experience begins to occur when plants are as young as 10 years old, it will flower (usually during the fall) and then the entire plant declines and dies. Plant in full sun with little irrigation required in coastal gardens but provide some supplemental irrigation in hotter inland gardens. Winter hardy to around 25 degrees. The species is quite variable in form; some plants have flatter leaves radiating straight out from the crown while others have leaves that are slightly cupped along the margins and are reflexed back. This beautiful agave was appreciated by the Nahuatl Indians who called it "papalometl" meaning "Butterfly Agave". The specific name "potatorum" is the generative of the Latin word 'potator' meaning "of the drinkers" in reference to the use of this plant in making alcoholic beverages. This selection is similar, but superior, to plants we previously offered as Agave potatorum 'Swizzle Stick', which were seed grown from a beautiful flowering plant growing in the Santa Barbara garden of the late Jim Prine. In contrast, 'Cherry Swizzle' is the result of selecting the best Agave potatorum in this same garden and vegetatively propagating it. The plant was dug in March 2006, repotted and then cored and vegetatively propagated in our nursery. After 10 years we are finally have enough to release this beautiful plant in 2016.  The information on this page is based on research conducted about this plant in the San Marcos Growers library, from online sources, and from observations made of the crops growing in our nursery, plants in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens where we may have observed it. We also have incorporated comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Agave potatorum 'Cherry Swizzle'.
 
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