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AGAVE attenuata 'Kara's Stripes'

Image of Agave attenuata 'Kara's Stripes' PP19444

PlantHaven

Family

Agavaceae

Botanical Name

AGAVE attenuata 'Kara's Stripes' PP19444

Plant Common Name

Kara's Stripes Century Plant, Smooth Century Plant

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Soft green leaves make this the most painless agave for gardens. This clump-forming native of Mexico inhabits high rocky cliffs where good soil drainage is assured. It has become a popular choice for mild coastal climates and dry inland valleys that do not receive much winter cold.

Smooth century plant forms neat rosettes of smooth bright green foliage. As the rosettes age the stems elongate and develop a trunk-like appearance. In time, the central rosette will produce numerous pups, or offsets, from its base. These may be left to create a large colony or severed and rooted into new plants. After twenty years the central rosette will bloom in early spring. The flowers are borne on a very long branched stem topped with pale yellow flowers. The stem is not upright, but tends to arch and dip, which explains another of this plant’s common names, foxtail. The flowers are fragrant and attract many pollinators to include birds, bees and bats.

While this plant can be grown in full sun along the coast, it appreciates afternoon shade in very hot, dry climates. It requires extreme protection in the low desert and still may not thrive there. It may be grown in most well-drained soils, even poorer ones. This is a naturally drought resistant species, but with regular water it will grow better and look nicer.

Those interested in a specimen plant should diligently remove all offsets that appear. This pain free agave is preferred for small spaces, containers, beach house gardens and swimming pool plantings. Under ideal conditions it will form large colonies with up to a dozen rosettes, which become an outstanding focal point. It is often integrated into xeriscape compositions with other succulents, western natives and Mediterranean plants.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 12

  • Sunset Zone

    20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    4'-5' / 1.2m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Mexico

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Lime Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Lime Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Lime Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Lime Green

  • Bark Color

    Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    No