Agaves, Yuccas and Related Plants: A Gardener's Guide

Agaves, Yuccas and Related Plants: A Gardener's Guide

by Mary Irish, Gary Irish
     
 

Architectural and striking, these drought-tolerant plants provide excellent contrast to flowering perennial plantings. All the necessary tips to achieve success can be found in this helpful and expert text.See more details below

Overview

Architectural and striking, these drought-tolerant plants provide excellent contrast to flowering perennial plantings. All the necessary tips to achieve success can be found in this helpful and expert text.

Editorial Reviews

Horticulture
"This is a must-read for lovers of these spectacular plants ... well-organized, friendly, inviting."—Lauren Springer Ogden, Horticulture, October 2004
— Lauren Springer Ogden
American Gardener
"A useful and authoritative new reference."—William May, American Gardener, January/February 2001
— William May
Pacific Horticulture
"An excellent introduction to this delightful group ...Mary and Gary Irish have produced a book that will be an invaluable reference for the enthusiast and a source of inspiration for those not yet familiar with these useful and beautiful plants."—Dean Kelch, Pacific Horticulture, Winter 2001
— Dean Kelch
Horticulture - Lauren Springer Ogden
"This is a must-read for lovers of these spectacular plants ... well-organized, friendly, inviting."—Lauren Springer Ogden, Horticulture, October 2004
American Gardener - William May
"A useful and authoritative new reference."—William May, American Gardener, January/February 2001
Pacific Horticulture - Dean Kelch
"An excellent introduction to this delightful group ...Mary and Gary Irish have produced a book that will be an invaluable reference for the enthusiast and a source of inspiration for those not yet familiar with these useful and beautiful plants."—Dean Kelch, Pacific Horticulture, Winter 2001
Booknews
Mary and Gary Irish (former director of public horticulture at the Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, Arizona and photographer/plant geographer, respectively) provide a wealth of information on the cultivation and gardening uses of and , as well as several other American genera in the family Agavaceae, including discussion of their cultivation in more adverse climates. Includes keys for identification and some 100 color photographs and 18 drawings. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780881924428
Publisher:
Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
05/10/2000
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.31(h) x 1.19(d)

Read an Excerpt


Most Agave species are monocarpic (blooming once in the life of the plant); only a few species are polycarpic (blooming repeatedly through the life of the plant).

Agaves, in general, have large leaves arranged in a spiral along a small, often visible, stem to form a rosette. Rosettes are a common adaptation to desert or arid conditions. This growth form allows water to be directed down the leaves, like a channel, to the root zone. During times of serious drought, the small stem of an agave will shrink, allowing a tiny fissure in the soil around the plant base, further increasing the utility of the rosetts form in channeling water when it does rain. Rosettes are common in many genera from arid regions including all other members of the families Agavaceae and Nolinaceae, and genera from other families such as Aloe, Haworthia, and Gasteria, to name a few.

The leaves of Agave usually are hard or somewhat rigid and very fibrous inside. Many have prominent sharp marginal teeth, and almost all leaves have a rigid and very sharp terminal spine. A rosette may have fewer than 20 leaves or as many as 200, depending on the species. The leaves are thick and succulent, with specialized cells for water storage. Most leaves are coated with a fine to heavy wax cuticle. This cuticle is an adaptation to prevent excessive water loss through the leaves, retaining as much water within the leaf as possible to endure long periods of drought.

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