Can You Help Me Name This Plant?

UPDATE: See the comments below but reader Robert advises us: The Agave outside Santo Domingo is Agave guiengola, a species native to eastern Oaxaca. It certainly is a striking plant, and it is sold at nurseries in southern California (such as Rancho Soledad Nurseries in Rancho Santa Fe), but it would not be suitable for Napa because it is too sensitive to cold.

As you read this, I’m off on an adventure in sunny Mexico; either dining at a hacienda, climbing the pyramids at Teotihuacan or perhaps sunning at a thermal spring. I just don’t know!

In the meantime, I found these photos I’d taken of my favorite church in maybe the world, Santo Domingo in Oaxaca. Outside of the church, someone has very tastefully planted a garden of what I assume are maguey plants, but there’s a slight yellowish caste to them and I think they’re super.

Sto-domingo-garden-1

I would love to do something similar but I want to get the right plant. Any advise will be appreciated. If you have an idea, please leave it in the Comments section.

Sto-domingo-garden

16 Comments on Can You Help Me Name This Plant?

  1. I could be very wrong about this, but they look like really large agave plants. You can see more pictures and info (to better compare for yourself) here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agave

  2. And now I see that a maguey is a kind of agave, so you knew that already. Apologies for being redundant.

  3. The staff at Ruth Bancroft Garden in Berkeley, CA. may know which agave it is. Their URL is:
    http://www.ruthbancroftgarden.org/

    ~Robert H.

  4. I thought I knew a lot about agaves but this one is throwing me. The slight yellow color may have to do with what kind of light they get, as much as what specific species it is. The tiny “teeth” on the leaf edges should help someone with more expertise to determine the species. They sure are beautiful! Good luck with the hunt.

  5. My daughter’s boyfriend has a PHd in Plant Ecology. He said it is Blue Agave:

    Blue Agave – the same plant that is used to make Tequila, or its a close relative…

    Tell her to check out these references and one will probably fit:
    http://plants.usda.gov/java/nameSearch?keywordquery=agave&mode=sciname&submit.x=0&submit.y=0

  6. Steve
    Welcome back! I have one of those guys and I am betting on it being a blue agave! There are tons of them down in the san simeon area- they love the coastal breeze and do really well down there.

  7. I simply love the idea of a Tequila garden.

  8. Steve,

    Here’s the Agave I.D., from Brian, the Horticulturist of Ruth Bancraft Garden in Walnut Creek, CA. They sell many species of Agave suitable for the Bay Area climate several times per year.

    “Dear Robert,
    The Agave outside Santo Domingo is Agave guiengola, a species native to eastern Oaxaca. It certainly is a striking plant, and it is sold at nurseries in southern California (such as Rancho Soledad Nurseries in Rancho Santa Fe), but it would not be suitable for Napa because it is too sensitive to cold.”
    Brian

  9. Steve,
    Here’s the Agave I.D. from
    Brian, the horticulturist for Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, CA. They sell many species of Agave suitable for the bay area.
    Robert

    “Dear Robert,
    The Agave outside Santo Domingo is Agave guiengola, a species native to eastern Oaxaca. It certainly is a striking plant, and it is sold at nurseries in southern California (such as Rancho Soledad Nurseries in Rancho Santa Fe), but it would not be suitable for Napa because it is too sensitive to cold.
    Brian”

  10. Thank you all. It did seem a little yellow to be a blue agave. I think what I’ll do is go to my local nursery and see what they have. I do know I want this mass of agaves and I’d rather they weren’t all plain green. If that doesn’t work, I’m sure there are some succulent nurseries on the web that might help.
    And I plan on a field trip to the Ruth Bancroft garden. SOunds like a wild place.
    Thank you again!

  11. Not certain myself what these plants are, but you might find out through Tree of Life Nursery, a native plant nursery in San Juan Capistrano, CA http://www.californianativeplants.com or
    Las Pilitas, http://www.laspilitas.com. Both have information on California native plants, plus plants that are native to Baja and to Mexico. Las Pilitas in particular has a great native plant ‘digest’.

  12. It seems like these grow wild in San Antonio since they are everywhere and can be huge! Everyone calls them agave plants. Yes, they are beautiful! They appear in so many artists paintings.

  13. robert hamilton // August 9, 2015 at 2:30 pm // Reply

    It’s Agave guiengola, Steve.
    With warmth,
    Robert Hamilton

  14. I did a Google search using the picture. Here is what came up, click the link.

    http://portugalresident.com/agaves-a-weed-or-a-wonderful-garden-plant

  15. Dear Steve, Agave guingola is beautiful and a wonderful species. It is too frost tender for Napa and only grows well in Southern California and other hot frost free areas. I originally collected the seeds of Agave guingola and most of the plants available all over the word in nurseries came from seeds that I collected.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*