ISI 2012-18. Furcraea quicheensis Trel.

Like others in this genus, F. quicheensis forms elegant agave-like rosettes of slender, glaucous, sword-shaped leaves. However, in this species the 2 to 3 m rosettes eventually grow atop trunks 1 to 2 m tall that may even branch. The glaucous leaves have a roughened texture and bear minute yellowish marginal denticles 1 - 2 mm apart. Unlike most other furcraeas, this one forms self-set seed rather than producing hundreds of vegetative bulbils. We offer HBG 96606, second-generation plants from seed originally collected by Tim Prebble in 1999 at Todos Santos, Department Huehuetenango, northern Guatemala. Initially, given its origin, it was thought to be F. guatemalensis, however, the formation of branched trunks, among other features, points to F. quicheensis, which is sympatric (from Latin sym – with + pater – father, i.e. “shared fatherland”). The epithet quicheensis refers to the Department of Quiché just E of Huehuetenango. Tim reports that the plant does not die after flowering and eventually forms a small trunk. Also, the plant is completely hardy at his Texture Plants nursery in Christchurch, New Zealand where temperatures have dipped to -7°C (20°F). $10.

Photo © 2012 by Karen Zimmerman. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

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