J.C. Raulston Agave Blooms!


Agave Blooms

From Charlie Kidder, volunteer in the Xeric Gardens at the JC Raulston Arboretum since 2003 and is an absolute sucker for the sculptural quality of the all the agaves and their kin.  “My favorite has always been the Mescal barrel agave ‘J.C. Raulston’.  Its silvery-gray leaves are punctuated with purple-black spines and teeth, a very natty combination.  Looking straight down onto the plant–before the flower spike erupted, that is–revealed an almost hypnotic shape of interwoven triangles.

But now comes this agave’s great moment of glory, with its twelve-foot flower spike shooting up in just two months.  It’s a sight to make any guy envious!  But watch what you wish for, since flowering is the end of the agave’s life cycle.  Still, nothing like going out in style!  And even though the main agave plant will die shortly, a younger offshoot known as a “pup” will live on to beguile visitors in the future.
We generally leave agave flower stalks up even after they dry out for winter interest, but if you come out to the Arboretum soon, you can still see the dozens of yellow flowers that now top the candelabra.  You can spot it from the parking lot, against the dark green background of the holly hedge off to the south.”

From Chris Glenn, Programs and Educaiton Coordinator, JC Raulston Arboretum, “If you’ve been a Cuttings from the JCRA subscriber for a few years, you know I’m a big fan of agaves. I’ve shared their flowering here at the JCRA on a few occasions. Well, it’s that time again. Our Agave parryi subsp. parryi var. truncata ‘J.C. Raulston’ is currently in full flower. I’ve put together a photograph gallery of the plant’s flowering for you to enjoy this weekend. Better yet, come out and see it for yourself. It’s in the Xeric Garden behind the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center. Tony Avent recently named this particular plant in honor of Dr. J. C. Raulston.”

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