Manfreda maculosa (Hook.) Rose
Texas Tuberose, Spice Lily, Manfreda Agave, Rattlesnake Agave
Agave maculata, Polianthes maculosa
Manfreda maculosa is a deciduous succulent that grows nearly flat to the ground, forming a rosette of dull-green leaves heavily marked with round, reddish-purple to dark brown spots. The leaves are fleshy, soft, narrow, sword-shaped, and up to 1 foot (30 cm) long. In spring, appear up to 6 feet (1.8 m) tall spikes, bearing mildly fragrant, up to 2 inches (5 cm) across, cream to greenish-white flowers that age to a rose pink. They open and change colors over 3 to 4 days of life.
USDA hardiness zones 7a to 9b: from 0 °F (−17.8 °C) to 30 °F (−1.1 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Manfreda is a tender perennial or "temperennial" succulent plant that grows best in full sun. Plant in well-drained, dry to average soil in containers just slightly wider than the width of the rosette or plant directly in the ground. Since the plant has a rather large root system, the container should be at least 12 inches (30 cm) deep. Manfreda is a slower grower, so it will not quickly overtake the space it is allotted in the landscape.
In summer, when the plants are actively growing, they appreciate a bit of supplemental watering and half-strength fertilizer. During the winter months, the plants should be allowed to dry and stored in a cold room at 48 °F (9 °C). Plants are watered only enough to keep the foliage from shriveling.
Manfredas are propagated by the removal of offsets and from fresh seed. Fresh seeds germinate in 7 to 21 days at 68 to 72 °F (19 to 22 °C). See more at: How to Grow and Care for Manfreda.
Manfreda maculosa is endemic to southern Texas and northeastern Mexico.
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