An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

from the July 25, 2010 Newsletter issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO
VARIEGATED AGAVE FLOWERING

A very pretty ornamental agave is flowering now, shown below:

AGAVE DESMETIANA 'JOE HOAK', flowering

I've already introduced you to Agave desmettiana, a robust, attractive, native Yucatec agave, still shown at http://www.backyardnature.net/yucatan/agave-de.htm.

The flowering, variegated agave in the picture is AGAVE ANGUSTIFOLIA var. MARGINATA, a Mexican native. Its narrow, stiff blades have adistinct narrowing in thier lower thirds, they're tipped with reddish-brown, very hard and sharp spines, and their margins are furnished with rather widely spaced, slender teeth.  The species seems to be native to the Yucatan, but the variegated variety marginata must be a horticultural product.

To get my plants for the grove I removed suckers from the base of larger plants. The suckers very quickly rooted and the plants began growing. Since Agave angustfolia is native Yucatecan you'd expect it to produce viable seeds. However, our plants' ovaries seem to be aborting before they mature into seed-bearing fruits. You can see flowers with half-formed ovaries, or immature fruits, dangling by their dried-out stamens below:

AGAVE DESMETIANA 'JOE HOAK', flowers