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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - May 11, 2011

From: Cherryville, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Cacti and Succulents
Title: Obtaining Agave parryi in Cherryville NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in western North Carolina and I had a friend that had a Agave parryi that bloomed about 1 year ago and of course it died. Since i saw the beautiful agave I have wanted one, but no one in my area can tell me where to get one. i was hoping you could help me.

ANSWER:

As you can see from this USDA Plant Profile Map, the Agave parryi (Parry's agave) grows natively nowhere near North Carolina. Obviously, people do grow them other places, but they are difficult to find because there is probably not much market for them. You can go to our National Suppliers Directory and type your town and state in the "Enter Search Location" box and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and landscape professionals in your general area. They all have contact information and if they don't carry the plant you are interested in, they may be able to tell you where else to look.

Your friend might have had some "pups" around her original plant or know somewhere that you could get them. If there are nurseries around that specialize in succulents, they might have some. Sometimes, in colder areas, they are considered house plants and can be at least started indoors. This site from Mountain States Wholesale Nursery has about the best information on the growing conditions this plant requires. Another good article is from Western New Mexico University, Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness. You do realize, we are sure, that while this plant is native to North America, it is NOT native to North Carolina, and the culture of the plant, if you can locate one, is going to range from difficult to nearly impossible.

We would suggest you check out the website from the Cactus and Succulent Society of America.

 

From the Image Gallery


Parry's agave
Agave parryi

Parry's agave
Agave parryi

Parry's agave
Agave parryi

Parry's agave
Agave parryi

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