Agave potatorum “Kichijokan”
This Agave is a nursery produced cultivar: it is thought to be a form of Agave parryi, or a Japanese cultivar of Agave potatorum.
This beautiful succulent forms a usually solitary, stemless rosette: it is symmetrical, hemispherical, open spreading. Margins, spines, colours will get stronger as it grows (and the plants will get really different from each other). Leaves are short, blue-grey, wide and up-curving. The external sides have creamy-coloured variegations, while in the back of the leaves there are bud imprints. Edges are purple-brownish, and present rusty teeth and a long terminal spine. This Agave may bloom when mature.
This relatively easy-to-grow species is less resistant to cold than other Agaves, so avoid frosting temperatures to protect it from dagames to the foliage. It does well in full sun and in light shade (which is necessary in summer). A good amount of fertilizer and water during summer months will help it growing faster, but let the soil dry before watering again (indeed, it needs a very well-drained soil). During winter, only water enough to keep the leaves from shrivelling. This Agave grown well both in containers or in the ground, and when cultivated outdoors it gets more drought and heath tolerant.
Propagation can be done by basal suckers: remove them in spring or summer, let the cutting dry for few days and then, put it in compost.
The Mesoamerican civilizations have long exploited the agave properties: it was used to get drinks, syrups, animal feed, textile fibers, medicinal packs. Some of these uses are still standing: the tequila, for example, is made by Agave Blue.
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