Agave nickelsiae

Also known as:

  • Agave victoriae-reginae forma
  • King of the Agaves
  • Agave ferdinandi-regis

Plant Type

perennial, cactus / succulent

Zones

7b-10b

Size

H:1'-2'
W:1'-2'

Growing Conditions

Soil Needs:

well-drained

Water Needs:

low, drought tolerant

Sun Exposure:

sun

Features

Wildlife:

hummingbirds

Foliage Season:

evergreen

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Show nurseries near:
Moon - Sun Cactus & Koi Gardens

Contact

6430 McGill Ave. Las Vegas, Nevada

Directions

Plant Delights Nursery, Inc

Contact

Raleigh, North Carolina

919-772-4794

The Ruth Bancroft Garden

Contact

Walnut Creek, California

925-944-9352

Succulent Gardens

Contact

2133 Elkhorn Road Castroville, California

Directions

831-632-0482

megan@sgplants.com

Moon - Sun Cactus & Koi Gardens

Contact

6430 McGill Ave. Las Vegas, Nevada

Directions

Succulent Gardens

Contact

2133 Elkhorn Road Castroville, California

Directions

831-632-0482

megan@sgplants.com

The Ruth Bancroft Garden

Contact

Walnut Creek, California

925-944-9352

Moon - Sun Cactus & Koi Gardens

Contact

6430 McGill Ave. Las Vegas, Nevada

Directions

FIND IT TODAY AT ONE OF 4 PARTNER LOCATIONS

Photo by: The Ruth Bancroft Garden

Contact

Walnut Creek, California

925-944-9352

www.ruthbancroftgarden.org

Websites

www.ruthbancroftgarden.org

Services

Retail Nursery Gardens and Educators

Original Photo

ruthbancroftgarden.org
Info
Agave nickelsiae 1

Photo of:

Agave nickelsiae

Description by: Plant Delights Nursery, Inc

Contact

Raleigh, North Carolina

919-772-4794

www.plantdelights.com

Services

Mail Order Nursery
Info

Agave nickelsiae is the new...I mean old name for Agave ferdinandi-regis (yes, ferdinandi is spelled correctly). Agave nickelsiae is often lumped by herbarium taxonomists (people who study dead plants) with Agave victoriae-reginae, but Agave nickelsiae can be easily distinguished by more glaucous foliage, larger leaves, and larger terminal black spines. Each tight, slow-growing clump will reach 10" tall x 18" wide. We'll let the taxonomists fight the name battle while we enjoy the plants in our garden. Under good cultivation conditions, Agave nickelsiae should flower in 12-15 years with a solitary upright 12' stalk of hummingbird favorite flowers.

Description by: Moon - Sun Cactus & Koi Gardens

Contact

Las Vegas, Nevada

702) 645-2032

www.moon-sunlandscapes.com

Services

Mail Order Nursery Retail Nursery Gardens and Educators
Info

Full Sun. Outdoor. Pale Green to Cream Flowers.

Description by: The Ruth Bancroft Garden

Contact

Walnut Creek, California

925-944-9352

www.ruthbancroftgarden.org

Services

Retail Nursery Gardens and Educators
Info

As is too often the case in the plant world, there is much confusion regarding the naming of this plant. It was first named as Agave nickelsiae in 1895, but was re-named as Agave ferdinandi-regis by Agave expert Alwin Berger in 1915. Later authors, notably including Howard Scott Gentry, considered it to be merely a form of Agave victoriae-reginae, not even meriting the rank of a subspecies or variety. Recently, however, a group of Mexican botanists have noted the significant floral differences between the plants, and they have concluded that A. nickelsiae should be recognized as a separate species. Both Agave nickelsiae and Agave victoriae-reginae are notable for their compact rosettes with striking white lines which look as though they had been painted on the surface. However, in A. nickelsiae there are fewer leaves in a rosette, and these tend to be narrower, longer, more splayed, and often with a milky-bluish tinge. A. nickelsiae usually also has a more prominent black spine at the tip of the leaf. In both species, the leaves sometimes have a double tip or even a triple tip. As with many kinds of Agave, A. nickelsiae and A. victoriae-reginae have surprisingly tall flower stalks for the size of the plant. The stalk of A. nickelsiae is even taller than that of its sister-species, reaching a height of 15 to 21 feet (4.5 to 6.5 m). Our plant in flower at The Ruth Bancroft Garden tops out at 20 feet (6 m). The flowers between the two species are significantly different, and this is perhaps the strongest reason for separating them. Those of A. nickelsiae are larger (listed as being 1⅔ to 1¾ inches long from the base to the petal tips, and ours exceed this at just over 2 inches), with the petals fanning out widely at the mouth, while the smaller flowers of A. victoriae-reginae have erect petals. The flower color differs as well. At the bud stage, A. nickelsiae flowers have a purplish tinge, and when they open this color is evident on the outsides of the petals (on the whole surface of the outer 3 petals, and on a stripe down the center of the inner 3). The inside of the flower is mostly off-white, but with a purple tint toward the tips. The stripe down the middle of the inner 3 petals is repeated on the inside, but it fades from purple to greenish going downward. The flowers of A. victoriae-reginae, in contrast, are white to greenish-white. In A. nickelsiae the stamens extend far beyond the petal tips, showing off the purple filaments, while the stamens of A. victoriae-reginae extend only a little beyond the tips, with white filaments. Agave nickelsiae is a slow-growing plant, and our blooming specimen took perhaps 20 years to reach maturity. It will die after completing its flowering cycle, but happily it has produced a few offsets to allow for its continuance in the garden.

Photo by: The Ruth Bancroft Garden

Contact

Walnut Creek, California

925-944-9352

www.ruthbancroftgarden.org

Websites

www.ruthbancroftgarden.org

Services

Retail Nursery Gardens and Educators

Original Photo

ruthbancroftgarden.org
Info
Agave nickelsiae 5

Photo of:

Agave nickelsiae

Photo by: The Ruth Bancroft Garden

Contact

Walnut Creek, California

925-944-9352

www.ruthbancroftgarden.org

Websites

www.ruthbancroftgarden.org

Services

Retail Nursery Gardens and Educators

Original Photo

ruthbancroftgarden.org
Info
Agave nickelsiae 6

Photo of:

Agave nickelsiae

Photo by: The Ruth Bancroft Garden

Contact

Walnut Creek, California

925-944-9352

www.ruthbancroftgarden.org

Websites

www.ruthbancroftgarden.org

Services

Retail Nursery Gardens and Educators

Original Photo

ruthbancroftgarden.org
Info
Agave nickelsiae 7

Photo of:

Agave nickelsiae

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