A. americana

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A. americana

Post Number:#1  Postby Luc » Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:41 pm

Just a little question today, have you ever seen some bulbils on a flower stalk of A. americana (Variegated or not) ?
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#2  Postby Spination » Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:27 pm

All the A. americana blooms I've seen (variegated or not) set seed. I just did a google search "A. americana bulbils" and could not find an example of it having happened (which is not necessarily definitive proof). My reference books don't indicate such either. Do you know of one producing bulbils?
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#3  Postby Gee.S » Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:50 pm

None here.
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"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#4  Postby Luc » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:18 pm

I currently follow a conversation in another forum where the subject is "true identity of Agave americana picta" ( Call here, in the gallery A. a. marginata - Personally, I see in the gallery two variegated forms, post 6 = marginata and the others = picta at least that's the names we give to these plants in France )

But this is not the problem, the identity of picta is very doubtful according to me but how prove anything ?

An english grower (North South Succulent) stated that picta is probably a variegated Agave salmiana var. angustifolia, the very doubtful taxon of Berger, and the idea has charmed some other french growers and now we can find this name here and there.

In his book Gentry said that he has never seen this plant in nature he finds that the plant looks like a mapisaga (picta could be a variegated mapisaga, I've already read this hypothesis here I believe, personally I like well this idea).

Now, a guy who takes part to the conversation, maintains that he have seen the flowers of the plant in the following photo and they are flowers of Agave americana? Sure the flower stalk looks like americana, flowers apparently also (Impossible to control what he says and if he knows how to do to observe the flowers) but the leaves shape is wrong and if bulbils grow on his flower stalk (I'm still waiting for a photo), the americana thesis would be still more discredited.

Opinions !
004.JPG
004.JPG (135.02 KiB) Viewed 610 times
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#5  Postby Gee.S » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:35 pm

Great topic, worthy of much discussion, IMO. We actually have Agave americana marginata and Agave mapisaga marginata in the Gallery. Further, I would guess that americana posts #3 & #5 show examples of mapisaga. Speculation on my part, but I do feel confident these are two different plants.

The bulbils are certainly interesting. Does anyone know if mapisaga forms bulbils?
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, and others walk the walk, but we stalk the stalk"
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#6  Postby Spination » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:48 pm

I'm glad it's a topic worthy of discussion, because it's rainy here (drought over???) and I'm in the mood to discuss! :)) Anyway, I sure don't like being outside right now in the cold and wet, even if I do love fussing with my plants.
I am aware there is some disagreement on the identity of the plant pictured in post 4 (and I'm not discounting the idea of different but similarly appearing plants). We have what appear to be those exact plants growing all over here in Sonoma, a very popular choice apparently. Also, the juvenile form is different in appearance than the mature form. I had thought they were A. americana Marginata previously, but I also became aware there is knowledgeable opinion that they or something similar may actually be an A. mapisaga variegate. By the way, I do not only have what I have called that A. americana Marginata, but also the so-called A. salmiana v. Angustifolia (now called mapisaga?), and I can say they are absolutely different plants. Also, I acquired last year a plant different yet again which is in my opinion A. americana, and marginally variegated but it is different yet again from the two previously mentioned plants! I can't say anything yet about the A. salmiana v. Angustifolia flowering from personal experience, but the "americana" plants which have flowered hereabouts have what appears to my untrained eye more or less typical americana panicles and flowers (as in the picture post 4). Appearance wise- the "american-ish" marginata has shorter, wider, upright leaves (when young at least, but less so later), and the Angustifolia has thinner (in width only), longer, very floppy leaves which seem to have a great deal of difficulty deciding even which way they are going to flop over after they separate from the core! I help mine out with plant stakes for a short time for the sake of my own personal sense of symmetry. For some reason, when the leaves flop over the "wrong" way, it just doesn't appeal to me...but that's my own personal problem I think. :lol: I don't think the plant cares one way or the other!
I have a couple of A. mapisaga var Lisa purchased from Huntington, but they are still quite small at 2 years old and many more years off from flowering, but it's my understanding those were seed grown (or so I assume). Also, all of the variegated specimens here which look identical to post 4 that have bloomed rather frequently in recent years in Sonoma were all seed-bearing plants, no bulbils. Regardless, those are such prolific puppers, who needs seeds or bulbils anyway? :)) Also, I see them on Ebay all the time and it appears they can't give them away, which tells me just how common they must be.
In my self-admitted limited knowledge regarding all of the mentioned species: americana, mapisaga, and samiana, I'm not aware that any of those produce bulbils anyway, so I'm not sure anything will be learned in that regard from the flowering event of the actual plants in question regarding this thread.
Just to make everything righteously confusing (lol), I'm going to snap off pics of 3 different plants here and their differently appearing pups as well which could all be called A. americana Marginata (or NOT!)and post them here shortly. In my opinion and experience, they are 3 different species/cultivars/hybrids or whatever! that could and at least have been called A. americana Marginata!
Coming right up....
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#7  Postby Spination » Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:42 pm

Here is the prolific plant in Sonoma which I first thought to be the common A. americana Marginata.
Here's a couple of current pics of a few years old plants (all from the same parent), same age
2014 11 19 A americana Marginata a X735.jpg
2014 11 19 A americana Marginata a X735.jpg (133.42 KiB) Viewed 599 times

2014 11 19 A americana Marginata b 735.jpg
2014 11 19 A americana Marginata b 735.jpg (127.01 KiB) Viewed 599 times

Here's the first plant a year ago before a terrible freeze we suffered through. Note that even a year later (first pic), the plant still doesn't look as good as it did before the freeze (below).
2012 12 3  A americana Marginata X735.jpg
2012 12 3 A americana Marginata X735.jpg (160.05 KiB) Viewed 599 times

This is the parent plant of the plants above a couple of years earlier:
Agave Americana Marginata X735.jpg
Agave Americana Marginata X735.jpg (149.49 KiB) Viewed 599 times


The pups you see in the ground are some of the very same plants in pots above
IMG_3301 X735.jpg
IMG_3301 X735.jpg (135.52 KiB) Viewed 599 times

and a flowering event of the same species a mile north about a year ago
(earlier while the spike was developing)
IMG_0402 X800.jpg
IMG_0402 X800.jpg (82.56 KiB) Viewed 599 times

and later when more developed
IMG_0765  X735.jpg
IMG_0765 X735.jpg (32.67 KiB) Viewed 599 times


to be continued....
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#8  Postby Spination » Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:29 pm

This is what was a mystery plant I acquired in 2009 at a SFBotanical plant sale. There was no ID tag on it and this was right about the time when my interest in agave plants really took off. At the time, my agave knowledge was minimal (some may say it still is, :)) ), and I assumed it to be a rather nice looking A. americana Marginata. I came to realize it was not at all the same plant I was seeing all over the place in the area. Anyway,the next years following 2009 resulted in the acquisition of a couple hundred more agave plants(!) and the addition of substantially more agave knowledge and resources. Thanks to Ron here when he helped me out on another site, I came to finally find out it is (was) called A. salmiana var. Angustifolia (at least in Europe), and is now thought to be A. mapisaga Marginata hereabouts on this side of the pond. I am quite certain the example depicted following is not at all the same species in the previous post.
Anyway, here's my plant which I've had for 5 years (and I figure it was 2 yrs old when I got it).
Note that the leaves are exceptionally long and floppy. Look at how tall the central core rises before a new leaf is released. Sometimes, the leaves fall over forwards not in the usual way of a typical rosette. If I didn't correct them manually, they would continue to grow all helter-skelter! Also, these leaves are more fleshy and tend to be more brittle (bend and break) than the plants in the previous post, which are thinner and more flexible. I found this out early on the hard way but now my plant has outgrown all damage and is a very nice specimen, or at least it pleases me! D)) There's clearly a difference in leaf length in younger plants and pups too but there is similarity (only) when the plants are quite mature. While I don't have pics of my own individual plant at maturity, because it's at most only 7 years old, I've seen pics of the same identified plant on European websites and they do have similarity to the mature specimens in the previous post. I haven't seen flower spike pics to compare the two though.
Also, while the previous post's plant is a prolific pupper, even at a relatively young age, my experience with this species is that it does not pup so prolifically. Mine didn't even start pupping until roughly a year ago (age 6?), and even the pups have relatively longer and more floppy leaves than the A. americana Marginata pups in the previous post.
2014 11 19 A salmiana v Angustifolia a X735.jpg
2014 11 19 A salmiana v Angustifolia a X735.jpg (183.55 KiB) Viewed 597 times

Some pups
2014 11 19 A salmiana v Angustifolia pups X735.jpg
2014 11 19 A salmiana v Angustifolia pups X735.jpg (144.87 KiB) Viewed 597 times


And a couple more shots back in August when the weather was more cooperative for better pictures: The first shot below is particularly nice because the surrounding plants give it good scale for size comparison.
2014 08 05 A salmiana Angustifolia a X735.jpg
2014 08 05 A salmiana Angustifolia a X735.jpg (195.38 KiB) Viewed 597 times

2014 08 05 A salmiana Angustifolia and Sport Pup X735.jpg
2014 08 05 A salmiana Angustifolia and Sport Pup X735.jpg (117.86 KiB) Viewed 597 times

The sport which is now 1-2 years old, looked like it wasn't going to make it (lack of enough green) when potted by itself, but now has made a nice comeback and is finally but clearly growing and thriving
2014 11 19 A salmiana v Angustifolia pup X735.jpg
2014 11 19 A salmiana v Angustifolia pup X735.jpg (95.82 KiB) Viewed 597 times
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#9  Postby Gee.S » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:04 pm

Great pics, and I agree, a completely different plant. There is one growing not too far from me, and it must be 12' across -- and I've never seen a pup when I've walked past, though I know they pup more frequently when potted.
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"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, and others walk the walk, but we stalk the stalk"
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#10  Postby Spination » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:46 pm

A. americana Marginata (#3)
Now, lastly, although the above two depicted plants in their respective posts identified as A. americana Marginata and A. salmiana var. Angustifolia, and that they are similar (as mature specimens) but decidedly different (especially as pups and younger plants), and that those names might be applied to each, either, or none...I have a third plant more recently acquired which IMO should actually correctly carry the name of A. americana Marginata. The two plants from the previous posts do not really resemble americana non-variegated species for the most part. They are too long leaved, and too floppy leaved and are the source of much disagreement regarding their actual identity. For that matter, even the one with the name A. salmiana var Angustifolia as correctly pointed out previously to me by Ron does not really resemble any salmiana species known. Most likely, "salmiana" is not what it is either. As far as I'm concerned, the variegated cultivar of a species should at least look similar in general appearance to the non-variegated representative, excepting the variegation. Clearly different characteristics should be a shout out that the plants are neither americana, or salmiana. For me, now those are just names on labels I associate at this time with the particular plants in question, and nothing more, until further resolution is forthcoming in the future.
A. americana species that are non-variegated, and even the so named A. americana Medio Picta Alba and the A. americana Lemon Lime cultivar at least have something in common in that the leaves are usually rigid and fairly similar looking. The rosettes have a similar look to them. Their leaves are not excessively long proportionately to width, and not generally weak and floppy (especially as mature plants), at least not in the way of the 2 plants in my 2 previous posts. I think what complicates the issue is that there seems to be considerable variability that exists among various so identified A. americana species as it is which I think at least infers that there are many hybrids out there that are just lumped together under that epithet! That's why I often think of A. americana as the mongrel or mutt of the agave world.
The below pictured plant was purchased as A. americana Variegated and it was obvious to me immediately that this looked more like an actual americana than either of the 2 plants I previously acquired which I thought were and many call A. americana Marginata, among other names (A. mapisaga, A. salmiana var. Angustifolia).

current photo (and relatively prolific pupper as one would expect from A. americana)
2014 11 19 A americana Marginata NEW a X735.jpg
2014 11 19 A americana Marginata NEW a X735.jpg (154.64 KiB) Viewed 589 times


and pups
2014 11 19 A americana Marginata NEW pups X735.jpg
2014 11 19 A americana Marginata NEW pups X735.jpg (143.37 KiB) Viewed 589 times


Now, there is some resemblance as far as the general appearance to the variegated A. Ferox I acquired as such: (no pups to date) - Marginals are clearly different
2014 11 19 A Ferox X735.jpg
2014 11 19 A Ferox X735.jpg (146.08 KiB) Viewed 589 times

and even some resemblance but less so to the A. salmiana Butterfingers I have from PDN (I've had 2 1/2 yrs, prob a couple of years old already when I got it, so likely a 4-5 year old plant) - relatively slow grower compared to americana and realtively few pups over the last couple years...
2014 11 19 A salmiana Butterfingers X735.jpg
2014 11 19 A salmiana Butterfingers X735.jpg (166.59 KiB) Viewed 589 times

A pup from the above, which greatly resembles the mother except in miniature form
2013 05 24 A salmiana Butterfingers #2 P2 X735.jpg
2013 05 24 A salmiana Butterfingers #2 P2 X735.jpg (140.63 KiB) Viewed 589 times


Lastly, just for some more convenient comparisons, here's an A. americana Medio Picta Alba photo from earlier this year: (pups a lot!)
2014 08 05 A americana Medio Picta Alba X735.jpg
2014 08 05 A americana Medio Picta Alba X735.jpg (159.93 KiB) Viewed 589 times

And A. americana Lemon Lime (also good "pupper")
2014 10 29 A am LL MP #1 a X740.jpg
2014 10 29 A am LL MP #1 a X740.jpg (126.84 KiB) Viewed 589 times


I would say my "new" A. americana Marginata has more in common with generally recognized americana characteristics and the A. americana Medio Picta Alba and the A. americana Lemon Lime than the A. americana Marginata and A. salmiana var. Angustifolia in the previous posts.

Since I've given this subject previous and sporadic thought, I just thought I'd add some fuel to the discussion and I would love to hear any commentary, thoughts, opinions which would help to straighten out the mess of species that is currently under the umbrella of "A. americana".
D))
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#11  Postby Gee.S » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:58 pm

We know mediopicta is americana, because a fair percentage of pups are not variegated, and those pups develop into full sized plain Jane americana.
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"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, and others walk the walk, but we stalk the stalk"
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#12  Postby mcvansoest » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:14 pm

Spination, I think you make some very good points. Most plants in the previous posts when adult seem to have very little in common with what I would recognize as A. americana - variegated or not - some of the pups you show in post 7 definitely could be americana, if one would think they had been a little shady and reaching for the light, which in my experience makes the these kind of agaves a little leggy and floppy, but the adults are a) way too big, b) way too 'leggy' - thin leaved -, and c) way too floppy for what I have come to recognize as A. americana here in the Phoenix area. In my very limited experience I would associate those characteristics with A. mapisaga - but I should emphasize my very limited experience with that one.
However, I for one have never seen an A. americana seemingly as big as the plants in post 4 - if the street light can provide any kind of reasonable scale those plants are quite gigantic, similarly the parent plant in your post #7 also appears quite large, as do some of the plants in the A. americana marginata gallery entry that I think Ron refers to.
That said, I guess it could take one variegated clone of A. americana, that has gigantism and has thin floppy leaves, which has been preferentially propagated and distributed for this to be a very extreme form of A. americana that is barely recognizable as such. Especially if it pups a lot it is not hard to imagine it would not take too long to become widespread.
My 2 cents for those giant, thin and floppy leaved plants is still some form of A. mapisaga, but I would be the first to acknowledge my extreme lack of expertise... D))
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#13  Postby Spination » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:17 pm

Ron, I certainly agree with that. The mediopicta, lemon lime, and the subject of post 10 have similar marginals, which I think of as "fish-hooks" (to my imagination, lol). Those spines jut out on mammillated margins which rake back towards the core of the plant, giving the leaves a distinctive look IMO.
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#14  Postby KLC » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:31 pm

I have 2 forms of the variegated 'americana' in the garden, 1 has upright leaves like the standard version while the other has very loose floppy leaves with no order to them, they fall where they grow. They were near identical when smaller but are growing into 2 distinct forms. The mapisaga idea for the floppy leaved form is popular and one that I support. If anyone is interested in the 2 forms, I routinely pull up and toss the pups in the garbage.
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#15  Postby Spination » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:55 pm

Thanks, mcvansoest. What's interesting as well is that the plant well known at the Huntington ID'd as A. mapisaga var. Lisa is considered among the very most giant of agave species, but if you check out pics of that plant, those leaves in spite of their huge size do not flop around for the most part like the strange variegated ones in question. The thickness of the leaves in particular which seem to give the mapisaga leaves pictured below almost gravity-defying strength and support is very much different than the variegated plants many think to be A. mapisaga.
So, if the plants in question are just variegated A. mapisaga, it is confusing at least that the leaves have such different characteristics in that regard.
In any case, you make a very good and likely completely valid point regarding clones that have been preferentially propagated to the point that they are barely recognizable as A. americana.

Here's a pic from my photo files off the net of Lisa

[The extension png has been deactivated and can no longer be displayed.]



My own 2 year old "baby" Lisas from Huntington which actually look very much like the gigantic adults, except of course much smaller and many fewer leaves! What makes them appear so similar to me to the mature plant is the thick, almost triangular keel which I expect gives those heavy, long leaves their strength.
2014 11 19  A mapisaga var Lisa X735.jpg
2014 11 19 A mapisaga var Lisa X735.jpg (180.3 KiB) Viewed 583 times


Lastly, in regard to pupping, the plant which I think of and discussed as A. salmiana var. Angustifolia although almost certainly incorrectly named, is not prolific as far as pupping goes. Ron mentioned as well the big one in his neighborhood never seems to have any pups which mirrors my experience, except that mine in it's pot (and root-bound) clearly encourages some infrequent pupping. It's definitely far less than the A. americana experience as far as that goes.
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#16  Postby Spination » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:13 pm

Keith, I'd be happy to have one of each to grow, observe, and compare with my various "americana" agaves. Maybe you could save them to add in on my next upcoming agave order? TIA! :))
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#17  Postby KLC » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:21 pm

The v Lisa form is the giant one, and interestingly Gentry never found it in Mexico. A nurseryman by the name of Fernando Schmoll offered a few specimens to the Huntington in 1933, and the ones offered from ISI were TC from descendants of the originals. It was thought that v Lisa was a cultivated plant bred to massive proportions to make pulque.

I did get a chance to see the 2 specimens at the Huntington a couple of years before they bolted, and I have to say I believe A. tecta may be more massive. If I can find some really nice pots big enough for them (read that as "for cheap"), I'm going to send Gentry's trifecta of giants, A. mapisaga v Lisa, A. tecta and A. atrovirens to the CACSS's spring show at the DBG. But that's fodder for another thread.

No problem Tom, I just pulled a bunch of them but there are still a few left. I'll leave them for when you have another box ready.
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#18  Postby Spination » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:41 pm

For the sake of additional comparisons, here's a couple of A. americana MP Aurea plants I have that exhibit different leaf shape, one more-long/floppy and the other somewhat more-short/upright (especially the newer leaves).
This one came from Spain 2 1/2 years ago as a rather small pup, probably less than 1 year old, making it now about 3 1/2 years old. No sign of pups so far. It's leaves are proportionately shorter than the 2nd example.
2014 08 13 A am MP #3 c X735.jpg
2014 08 13 A am MP #3 c X735.jpg (160.01 KiB) Viewed 577 times

This one of 2 almost identical plants from the same source in the U.S. acquired also 2 1/2 years ago, except much larger specimens to begin with, probably about 2 years old, making them approximately 4 1/2 years old now. Neither one has pupped to date.
2014 08 05 A am  MP Aurea a X735.jpg
2014 08 05 A am MP Aurea a X735.jpg (114.23 KiB) Viewed 577 times


The angle of the photo of the 2nd plant makes the plant deceptively similar to the first one, but it's leaves actually drape well below the bottom of it's pot. The first plant, not so much. Definitely a difference in leaf length proportionately. Also, even the newest leaves of the plant distinctively curve over downwards, presumably due to their longer length and increased weight - no upright quality to them at all.
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#19  Postby Luc » Sat Nov 29, 2014 3:35 pm

Thank you to all of you for your inputs.
It appears that the name A. salmiana var. angustifolia is not a usable one (Reliable origin this time).
Ho ! No bulbils on this plant, the guy has confused the fruits with the bulbils....

I don't know if A. mapisaga is a good solution for this plant hard to say. I had taken the photo of Agave mapisaga below there is at least 15 years even though it seems there is a lot of similarities between the photo on the post 4 and this one (Except the variegation of course), I don't remember if the flower stalk looks like the one of the variegated plant.

Do you know if a reliable source (Greg, Brian, Kelly for exemple ) refers to mapisaga to name this strange variegated plant ?

Agave mapisaga2.JPG
Agave mapisaga2.JPG (153.94 KiB) Viewed 535 times
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#20  Postby Gee.S » Sat Nov 29, 2014 4:03 pm

Yes, A. salmiana var. angustifolia is an invalid name, we knew this. That, in and of itself, does not necessarily negate the usefulness of the name. I first heard A. mapisaga suggested as a possible ID for the plant circulating in Europe as A. salmiana var. angustifolia from Martin & Julia of Agavaceae.com. It is all speculation until someone actually does the work.

I cannot say for sure, but Kelly might refer to the plant as Agave titanota. :))
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"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#21  Postby KLC » Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:12 pm

GeeS wrote:I cannot say for sure, but Kelly might refer to the plant as Agave titanota. :))


That is funny Ron, I got a good laugh from that one.

I first read of the mapisaga thing from a post Walker from the Ruth Bancroft Garden made regarding the origins of those plants. I think Brian Kemble, curator of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, is the one who came up with the hypothesis but I may be mistaken.
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#22  Postby mcvansoest » Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:25 pm

Keith, I think you might be right there were some posts recently on the other site that shall not be named ::wink::
that refreshed some of those old variegated americana vs. mapisaga threads.
It is what it is!
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#23  Postby Gee.S » Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:29 pm

Dollars to donuts Walker got that little tidbit from Martin & Julia, as I did.
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, and others walk the walk, but we stalk the stalk"
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#24  Postby KLC » Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:44 am

Yes you correct Ron, it was Martin and Julia who brought that to the table, not Brian Kemble. My mistake. :oops:

There was a thread on XW where Walker did give them credit for that one.
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Re: A. americana

Post Number:#25  Postby Luc » Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:16 am

GeeS wrote:I cannot say for sure, but Kelly might refer to the plant as Agave titanota. :))


Oh nay Ron, one more time !
Agavaceae.com is a good source of informations also, I don't always think to consult it.
They have a good pic of mapisaga with a mature plant in bloom.
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