ISI 2012-8. Agave franzosinii ‘Lost Wax’ Trager

This large agave, with rosettes to 3 m across, is among those gigantic species that agave collectors seem to lust after, regardless of the size limitations of their home landscapes. Nevertheless, the appeal of such imposing, yet graceful, glaucous-leaved rosettes is certainly understandable when seen in their full glory at places like the Huntington. In maturity, the leaves often retain distinctive bud imprints of dark green where the gray, waxy cuticle of the rest of the leaf seems to be lacking. Small offsets are produced around the base of the larger, especially after flowering. One of these was harvested a couple of years ago for initiation in tissue-culture, a process that results in more numerous, smaller plants suitable for this distribution. The species is known only from cultivation. It is also uncertain how much variation is represented in this taxon, so the cultivar name ‘Lost Wax’ is applied here to distinguish this introduction from other clones. The name refers to the distinct bud imprints of this clone and is a play on the lost wax technique used to cast metal sculpture. Rooted plants of HBG 42321, $12.

Photo © 2012 by John N. Trager. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 84 (2), March - April, 2012