Agave isthmensis 'Rum Runner' and potatorum 'Eye Scream'

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MikeyDude
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Agave isthmensis 'Rum Runner' and potatorum 'Eye Scream'

#1

Post by MikeyDude »

There was some discussion on a thread back in early 2014 regarding Agave isthmensis 'Rum Runner' and it's similarity to Kissho Kan mediopicta. I thought I would post some recent pics of these two agaves and add in a couple of others for comparison and discussion. I am hoping that the mediopicta begins to show a lighter shade of white as it matures. However, the 'Rum Runner' already has a very nice mellow yellow / butter color in the center leaf portion. It also has a lot more variation in the white to gold spectrum and seems less stable, but John Trager said that the gold color will become more stable and pronounced as it matures.

Two other smaller type agaves I really like are Agave 'Eye Scream', thought to be un-named sport of Agave potatorum, and Agave 'Tradewinds', probably a seedling from Agave 'Kissho Kan'. In some ways they do look similar, but with a closer look you can see that the "Eye Scream' has a thicker, more fleshy leaf at the base and the marginal teats are fewer but more pronounced.
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Kissho Kan and 'Rum Runner' on right
Kissho Kan and 'Rum Runner' on right
MedioPicta RumRunner IMG_1759.JPG (92.59 KiB) Viewed 7044 times
'Rum Runner'
'Rum Runner'
RumRunner 1IMG_1753.JPG (85.27 KiB) Viewed 7044 times
Agave Kissho Kan mediopicta
Agave Kissho Kan mediopicta
IMG_1146.JPG (71.19 KiB) Viewed 7044 times
Agave 'Desert Diamond' and 'Rum Runner' on right
Agave 'Desert Diamond' and 'Rum Runner' on right
DesertDiamond RumRunner IMG_1774.JPG (82.36 KiB) Viewed 7044 times
Agave 'Eye Scream'
Agave 'Eye Scream'
EyeScream 2 IMG_1765.jpg (69.76 KiB) Viewed 7044 times
Agave 'Tradewinds'
Agave 'Tradewinds'
Tradewinds 3 IMG_1777.jpg (62.97 KiB) Viewed 7044 times
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Re: Agave isthmensis 'Rum Runner' and potatorum 'Eye Scream'

#2

Post by Spination »

MikeyDude wrote:There was some discussion on a thread back in early 2014 regarding Agave isthmensis 'Rum Runner' and it's similarity to Kissho Kan mediopicta. I thought I would post some recent pics of these two agaves and add in a couple of others for comparison and discussion. I am hoping that the mediopicta begins to show a lighter shade of white as it matures. However, the 'Rum Runner' already has a very nice mellow yellow / butter color in the center leaf portion. It also has a lot more variation in the white to gold spectrum and seems less stable, but John Trager said that the gold color will become more stable and pronounced as it matures.

Two other smaller type agaves I really like are Agave 'Eye Scream', thought to be un-named sport of Agave potatorum, and Agave 'Tradewinds', probably a seedling from Agave 'Kissho Kan'. In some ways they do look similar, but with a closer look you can see that the "Eye Scream' has a thicker, more fleshy leaf at the base and the marginal teats are fewer but more pronounced.
Very nice plants Mikey...just the types that are my favorites.
I have some comments and pictures to post for comparisons, but I'd like to start with the A. Kissho Kan Mediopicta. In regards to your hopes that the variegation will become more white as it matures, I suspect that that's not how it works with these. I believe I have the same plant, and I'm pretty sure that unless I've made some sort of mistake with the lighting it gets (too bright? not bright enough? ...don't know - yet), the variegation is much whiter when it's younger, and becoming more green with age. In the beginning, it got filtered light in a greenhouse, these days it gets mostly direct sun in the morning, and afternoon shade. Now that it's a bigger plant, it spends it's time outdoors unless it's cold, or rainy, and then I move it back into the greenhouse. It takes the sun very well, no sunburn problems experienced to date.

Anyway, when I received that plant, and for some time afterwards, it was a nice white centered plant. BTW, I bought it as an A. parryi Truncata Medio Picta, paid a lot for it, and determined after the fact I was badly ripped off. #1 - my inexperience and stupidity. #2 - an unscrupulous seller. It took me a while to figure out what was what, and by the time I much later contacted the seller, he said he concluded the same about his mother plant (that it was not a parryi, but a Kissho Kan), but that he had been similarly duped, and I guess in his mind that made passing the buck OK...(at least he got his money back ::x ). On the plus side, on several levels, the money spent was like "dues paid" in the schooling department.

So...to the point...here's the plant back in April 2012 when I got it:
2012 4 15  A parryi truncata 'Medio Picta' a.JPG
2012 4 15 A parryi truncata 'Medio Picta' a.JPG (359.33 KiB) Viewed 7031 times
One full year later...new leaves still have white variegation, older leaves white turns greenish
2013 04 24 A parryi Truncata MP X775.jpg
2013 04 24 A parryi Truncata MP X775.jpg (133.05 KiB) Viewed 7031 times
Fast forward to it's present look (photo from last Aug. looks no different today)
2014 08 20 A potatorum Kissho Kan MP X775.jpg
2014 08 20 A potatorum Kissho Kan MP X775.jpg (163.89 KiB) Viewed 7031 times
If I had to guess whether different lighting makes a difference in the variegation, I would guess that the brighter the light, the more "desirable" the variegation, at least in a young plant. I have demonstrated this phenomenon to my satisfaction with A. parryi Truncata Yellow Variegates, but I can't be sure that this is consistent with a different species such as the isthmensis.

I'll continue in another post later...
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Re: Agave isthmensis 'Rum Runner' and potatorum 'Eye Scream'

#3

Post by Spination »

The plant cultivar you have named "Eye Scream" is a leaf form which I have come to understand as being typically called "Verschaffeltii". Kissho Kan has a rather more rounded leaf end, and not such pronounced mammillation. The Verschaffeltii has a leaf shape that is much pointier at the terminal spine, and the marginal teats as you called them are quite pronounced.

Ron will point out that both are cultivars of A. isthmensis, and I would agree. In my mind, all the rather miniature forms are A. isthmensis, but there's definitely a difference between the Kissho Kan form and the Verschaffeltii form. The larger plants would be A. potatorum. I'm not sure about "Tradewinds". Mine was purchased as A. potatorum, and it's definitely much more compact in appearance than what is considered an actual potatorum - as compared to the "Snowfall" variegate. If mine (Tradewinds) remains on the smallish side, I expect that would have me thinking it's also an isthmensis cultivar.

Here are 3 different plants acquired as Verschaffeltii.
The first is "A. Verschaffeltii Medio Picta", and I show the mother plant (I guess at least 4-5 years old), and the pup which is 1 1/2 years old. It well illustrates the difference between the more mature form, and more juvenile form, and the fact that the mother plant remains somewhat of a miniature. The leaf definitely assumes a different form in the more mature plant, with the flaring out of the leaf below the pointy end of the more immature plant, and the pronounced marginal teats. Mom is very little bigger than the pup, just more compact and leaf shape different, with better leaf imprinting.
2015 02 17 A Verschaffeltii MP a X775.jpg
2015 02 17 A Verschaffeltii MP a X775.jpg (125.04 KiB) Viewed 7028 times
2015 02 17 A Verschaffeltii MP c X775.jpg
2015 02 17 A Verschaffeltii MP c X775.jpg (156.13 KiB) Viewed 7028 times
2015 02 17 A Verschaffeltii MP b X775.jpg
2015 02 17 A Verschaffeltii MP b X775.jpg (140.8 KiB) Viewed 7028 times
Here's one that I've had for 2 full years now, from Thailand, and very slow growing. I think this year it's finally big enough to make a move, but that might be me more hoping than anything else. It was purchased as A. Verschaffeltii Variegated.
In any case, the signature Verschaffeltii leaf shape is apparent (and more pointy immature form).
2015 02 17 A Verschaffeltii Var #1 X775.jpg
2015 02 17 A Verschaffeltii Var #1 X775.jpg (144.07 KiB) Viewed 7028 times
Here's another one...received one year ago as a much larger plant than the Thailand specimen. Although the lower leaves were mush, I just pulled them off (the roots and core looked fine), sprayed sulfur powder where the mush was, and it did a fine job growing, and the margins turning additionally yellow to the white. Again, the signature Verschaffeltii leaf shape, and probably very similar to your Eye Scream cultivar.
2015 02 17 A Verschaffeltii Var #2 X775.jpg
2015 02 17 A Verschaffeltii Var #2 X775.jpg (152.64 KiB) Viewed 7028 times
In comparing my Rum Runner to yours and the typical Kissho Kan form, it seems to be a better fit to the Kissho Kan form than the Verschaffeltii with the more rounded leaves. In any case, given that they all seem to remain more miniature in size than not, I would say they are various cultivars of A. isthmensis. Given though that one can distinguish different leaf shapes and mammillation, I think there deserves different names, and Kissho Kan and Verschaffeltii to me soom as good as any others.
Rum Runner. (it needs more light, and the new leaves will yellow up just fine)
2015 02 17 A isthmensis Rum Runner X775.jpg
2015 02 17 A isthmensis Rum Runner X775.jpg (135.14 KiB) Viewed 7028 times
Finally, here's a shot of my Tradewinds, and Snowfall. The Tradewinds features reminiscent attributes of both Kissho Kan, and Verschaffeltii, but I think the bottom line is the compact, ball-like, somewhat miniature form. Although my A. potatorum Snowfall is yet immature, there's no way to confuse the more open character of the rosette, the larger leaves, and it appears as well that it will grow into a decent sized plant.
Tradewinds (probably not A. potatorum)
2015 02 17 A Trade Winds X775.jpg
2015 02 17 A Trade Winds X775.jpg (138.7 KiB) Viewed 7028 times
Snowfall (A. potatorum)
2015 02 17 A potatorum Snowfall X775.jpg
2015 02 17 A potatorum Snowfall X775.jpg (150.1 KiB) Viewed 7028 times
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Re: Agave isthmensis 'Rum Runner' and potatorum 'Eye Scream'

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Post by mickthecactus »

Whatever they may be there are some lovely plants there.
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Re: Agave isthmensis 'Rum Runner' and potatorum 'Eye Scream'

#5

Post by MikeyDude »

Interesting story there Spination on the purchase of the A. parryi Truncata Medio Picta and having it turn out to be Kissho Kan MP! I do like the result of some maturity on your Kissho Kan MP in your 3rd pic of 1st post. I can see that the leaf color is turning more blueish green and the marginal teats are now more pronounced. It's going to be a fine plant. :))
Thanks for sharing the pics of A. Verschaffeltii Medio Picta, those are clearly developing into some fine specimens. The V MP you have shown in the 5th pic of your 2nd post is what I anticipate the 'Eye Scream' will mature into or something similar to it. They told me it would grow to a size about half as big as KG's A. potatorum 'Snowfall'.
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Re: Agave isthmensis 'Rum Runner' and potatorum 'Eye Scream'

#6

Post by Spination »

Yes, it makes for a memory which won't be forgotten...and learning is learning. Sometimes it's there for free, and sometimes it's expensive to learn something, especially where mistakes are involved.

Regarding variegation...I'm feeling there's 3 different types of variegation in Agave, in terms of how they change with the lighting situation.
There are the ones which don't seem to mind whether the light intensity is high or low...like the A. potatorum Snowfall, or even A. victoriae reginae White Variegates, and even A. difformis Hakuro Shiro Fukurin as examples. The vr especially doesn't seem to look much different whether it's filtered light (shade cloth), or direct light.
Then there are those which seem to "improve" with more light: The Verschaffeltii Variegated Margins, A. applanata Cream Spike, A. parryi Truncata Yellow Variegates. In those, the white becomes yellow (or the yellow as the case may be becomes even more yellow) and looks awesome when it does.
Finally, it seems to me there are those that actually change the white to light green - such as the A. Kissho Kan MP discussed, and my personal nemesis variegates - the A. titanota ones. Whatever the problem I'm having with those, the white variegation gets so green, I can barely even tell it's variegated anymore... I'm starting to think those are getting too much light? Still trying to figure that one out... :huh:
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Re: Agave isthmensis 'Rum Runner' and potatorum 'Eye Scream'

#7

Post by DangerGardener »

I found a my Agave isthmensis 'Rum Runner about a year ago at Walmart (where I hardly ever shop for anything) while picking up a Father's Day card. No name/price tag/barcode on it and they gave it to me for $5. What a steal! Since then I've done some research on 'Rum Runners.' I wrote the Huntington Botanical Gardens' Facebook and they wrote me back with the information below about Agave isthmensis 'Rum Runner' origins and cold hardiness which I hope is useful to others on this forum. My 'Rum Runner' has had 6 pups and attached is a photo of my mother plant.

"Here's what our Desert Collections curator says:

The hardiness of this selection is still to be determined. The species Agave isthmensis is a lowland tropical species of limited distribution around the town of Salina Cruz on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in state of Oaxaca, Mexico. There is also another population about 40 km inland at similar elevation (near sea level) and with similar associated flora. Nevertheless, the species seems to be hardy to light frosts in our garden. Variegated selections are often slightly less hardy. We have yet to plant 'Rum Runner' in the garden but it has tolerated light frost in our nursery growing in plastic pots. More information from those with experience growing this plant in different areas may be had by posing the question to an on-line agave chat group."
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Re: Agave isthmensis 'Rum Runner' and potatorum 'Eye Scream'

#8

Post by Spination »

Nice to see another new member on the forum. Welcome!
I'm guessing you must also be a fan of Loree Bohl judging from your choice of moniker. I also like to follow her Danger Garden blog, and although located in the Pacific Northwest, she's also a big fan of Agave.
Congrats on your score with that $5 Rum Runner. Good job spotting it in the pack and nabbing it before someone else surely would have. :U
That's one of my favorite cultivars, as the size is very manageable for pot culture, and the yellow color really comes out with moderate sunshine.
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Re: Agave isthmensis 'Rum Runner' and potatorum 'Eye Scream'

#9

Post by DangerGardener »

Yes. I am a fan of her Danger Garden blog. My other favorite agave blogs are: http://www.marriedtoplants.com/?s=agave and http://www.penick.net/digging/--which are by gardeners who live near San Diego (Vista) and here in Austin respectively. Most of my agave collection are posted on my Instagram. I have 3 new agaves on the way from Plant Delights next week and plan to xeriscape 1/3rd of my front yard in the future. My 'Rum Runners' are the only agaves that I bring in for the winter now, the rest of my 140+ (including a lot of pups) are mostly rated cold hardy down to the 20's. When I bought it I had no idea what kind of agave my 'Rum Runner' was. It was initially blue/green and took a few weeks in the hot Texas sun to reveal its true yellow/green colors. I love it and thankfully it's on the small side. Thanks for the welcome!
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Agave isthmensis 'Rum Runner' with Agave lophantha 'Quadricolor' and Agave Americana behind it.
Agave isthmensis 'Rum Runner' with Agave lophantha 'Quadricolor' and Agave Americana behind it.
photo 2 lg.JPG (118.46 KiB) Viewed 6372 times
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