Agave parrasana A.Berger
Cabbage Head Agave, Cabbage Head Century Plant, Parrasana Agave
Agave wislizeni subsp. parrasana
This species is native to Mexico (Coahuila).
Agave parrasana is a slow-growing succulent that produces compact, usually solitary rosettes of fleshy grey-green leaves irregularly dusted with a silvery-blue coating. The rosettes are up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall and about the same in diameter. Leaves are up to 16 inches (40 cm) long, up to 6 inches (15 cm) wide. They have gnarled teeth along the edges and a brown terminal spine. The teeth are brown, turn gray over time, and make striking imprints on both surfaces of adjacent leaves. In summer, mature rosettes produce flowers in panicles on a spectacular, up to 20 feet (6 m) tall stalk. The flowers are tubular and up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long. They are red in bud and open to yellow with red highlights.
The specific epithet "parrasana (par-ra-sah-na)" is a compound of two words, "Parras" and the feminine form of the Latin suffix "-anus," meaning "of or pertaining to." The word "Parras" refers to the Sierra de Parras, Coahuila, Mexico, where the type specimen was originally found.
How to Grow and Care for Agave parrasana
Light: Like all Agaves, this plant requires full sun to partial shade. If you are growing A. parrasana indoors, choose a bright, sunny window with as much sun as possible. From spring to fall, it loves going outside.
Soil: A. parrasana will tolerate most soils as long as they have good drainage, but its preference is sandy or rocky soil.
Hardiness: During the growing season, it likes warm temperatures, while in winter, when resting, this succulent enjoys cooler temperatures. A. parrasana can withstand temperatures as low as 10 to 50 °F (-12.2 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 8a to 11b.
Watering: From spring to fall, water thoroughly when the soil becomes dry. In winter, water sparingly about once a month. Plants in containers require more frequent watering than those in the ground.
Fertilizing: Give your A. parrasana a small amount of fertilizer in the spring during the first two years. Established plants seem to take care of themselves.
Repotting: If you notice your A. parrasana becoming pot-bound, repot it with fresh soil in a new pot that is just slightly larger than the old one. Give the plant a week or so to readjust before you water it again.
Propagation: Since it can take years to produce seeds, A. parrasana is usually propagated by offsets. The best time to remove the offsets is in spring and summer. Sow the seeds in spring.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Agave.
Toxicity of Agave parrasana
A. parrasana is not toxic to humans, but it may be mildly poisonous to children and pets.
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