ISI 2011-15. Agave mapisaga var. lisa Gentry

The largest of anything always seems to have an inexplicable appeal. So it is with this agave that is certainly in the running along with A. franzosinii and A. atrovirens. One is reminded of a gardener’s saying that I paraphrase here as: Give an agave an inch and it will take a yard. A good chunk of one’s garden is needed for this plant to achieve its full potential, a massive rosette that can span over 3 m from leaf-tip to leaf-tip. Offsets are few but enough to allow for slow vegetative propagation, or faster with the advent of tissue-culture. Known only from cultivation, this form was likely domesticated for its massive “cabeza” (head) which when roasted yields ample pulp for direct consumption or fermentation of its sugar-rich sap. Rooted offsets from tissue-culture of HBG 3633, a seedling received from Fernando Schmoll in 1933. $12.

Photo © 2011 by Karen Zimmerman. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 83 (2), March - April, 2011