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AGAVE victoriae-reginae

Image of Agave victoriae-reginae

John Rickard

Family

Agavaceae

Botanical Name

AGAVE victoriae-reginae

Plant Common Name

Queen Victoria Agave, Queen Victoria Century Plant

General Description

Considered the queen of agaves with its geometric leaves and rounded form, this small succulent evergreen rules tabletop container gardens and is a crowning glory for arid landscapes. Nearly extinct in the wild largely due to collecting, this Mexican native is protected by laws prohibiting possession of wild gathered plants. What makes this species so coveted is its exceptional geometric beauty, with symmetrical rosettes of distinctive triangular leaves of dull to deep green outlined and accentuated by white lines.

A notoriously slow growing plant, its rock hard leaves and spherical form lend themselves perfectly to solitary dish gardens. Adults produce their towering flower stalk at about twenty years old, dying immediately afterwards. In cultivation flowering may occur sooner or later depending on the individual and growing conditions.

Due to cost and limited availability, this plant is primarily grown and then sold in containers. The Queen Victoria agave require perfect drainage and ample sun, but benefit from afternoon shade in low desert gardens. Excessive summer moisture can cause rot. Gardens centers sometimes offer seedlings which can be grown outside in containers and then brought indoors over winter. Use it as a container specimen or as a singular accent in a rock garden or desert landscape. It is exceptional in sparse clusters in a low groundcover that accentuates both its form and leaf colorations.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    8"-12" / 20.3cm - 30.5cm

  • Width

    20"-27" / 50.8cm - 68.6cm

  • Bloom Time

    Summer

  • Native To

    Mexico

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Very Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Green, Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    White, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    White, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    White, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    White, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter) Modifier

    Variegated

  • 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, Houseplant, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No