Sunday, 29 July 2018

Echeveria agavoides forms

The plan at the start of the summer, was to bring my echeveria agavoides forms together into a standard plant pot for display.  Finally after 3 months of failed pot deliveries, don't get me started, the pots arrived and the planting could begin.

One of the most common echeveria, agavoides is prolific not just in offsets but in the number of named forms / cultivars.  I have some, but by no means all and there are more appearing on the market all the time. There seems to have to two main shapes; the more structured forms such as Ebony and Lipstick / Red edge, and the flater slightly looser corderoyi forms like Romeo and Sirius.

Starting with the structural forms one of the most common is Red edge. There are lots of plants out there with different names, Lipstick being the most common, which I believe are so similar it is not worth splitting up. This is a prolific offsetter and you will end up with a clump in no time at all.

It's a simple step to the next form Ebony.  Basically keep selecting the darkest leaf tips, until you get an almost black one.  Without doubt my favourite form Ebony is probably the one everyone wants.  It is big, bold and very structural.

In the UK this is the form you get when you buy Ebony, the darkness of the leaftips depends on the light and water levels.  If you are in the US there is a form from Huntington botanic gardens, where the area of black is bigger than on these. Normally I am not big on variations and think it doesn't matter, but in this case if you can get the Huntington clone, do.

I grew a few of these from seed and have another large bowl of them, the largest is easily over 30cm now.

One of the seedlings in the batch decided not to develope any black tips at all. At first it started looking exactly the same as the other seedlings, just with no black tips,  but slowly became more blue and the black appeared in spots.

The other strange thing about this seedling, is that it offsets freely. Unlike normal Ebony, which doesn't seem to offset that freely.

I definitely prefer the more structural forms, but there are a few of the corderoyi forms that have snuck in. The most common is Romeo. I guess the method of selecting plants works just as well for colour as form.

Romeo was one of the first of this form available and still the most common in the UK. About a year later Sirius started to appear, which has a more blue tinge to the colour.  Mine has gone a very strange set of colours.  I'm not sure if it's the sun, soil or what.

These forms seem to be smaller, or at least slower than the other forms, but still suffer the same lack of offsets. I swore that would be it, but this year a new one turned up Bordeaux. The colour is the darkest I've seen.

As mentioned at the start there are a lot more of these out there. Obviously there is always one more, and Miranda turned up recently. This looks interesting in the photos, so time will tell. I guess I'll be needing another pot at some point.

Then you have the hybrids, which I even have some of my own, but the one I would recomend is E. agavoides x E. cuspidata var. zaragoza, which you sometimes see sold as E. 'Arrow' due to the black leaf tips.

There you have the echeveria agavoides collection.  The black pots are 30cm diamter to give you an idea of the size. They just about still fit on the wall.

So those are the ones that have made it into my colection, which ones do you have?


  1. Your collection looks fabulous in bowls on the low wall -- and thanks for sorting these all out! The closest I've gotten to dark leaf edges is 'Red Edge.'

    1. Thank you. If you are going to look for a dark edge form, I would aim for the huttington clone. Go straight for the best.