Agave geminiflora ‘Rasta Man’™
Synonyms of Agave geminiflora (10) (Updated 12-27-20): Agave angustissima Engelm., Agave geminiflora var. filifera A.Terracc., Bonapartea flagelliformis Henckel, Bonapartea juncea Haw., Dracaena boscii (Hornem.) Zeyh., Dracaena filamentosa Scan. ex Schult. & Schult.f., Littaea geminiflora Tagl., Littaea juncea É.Morren, Yucca boscii Hornem., Tillandsia juncea Willd. ex Steud.
Agave geminiflora (Tagl.) Ker Gawl. is the correct scientific name for this species of Agave. It was FIRST documented under the name of Littacea geminiflora by Giuseppe Tagliabue in Biblioteca Italiana in 1816. It was later described as Agave geminiflora by John Bellenden Ker Gawler in the Journal of Science and the Arts in 1817.
The genus, Agave L., was named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.
Plants of the World Online there are 277 accepted species of Agave (as of 12-26-20 when I am updating this page). Many species of other genera have been moved to the Agave genus, such as Manfreda. It is a member of the plant family Asparagaceae with 118 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made.
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My Agave geminiflora ‘Rasta Man’ was given to me by the owner of Pleasant Acres Nursery in Leland, Mississippi in May 2012 while living at the mansion there. It was much different than my other Agave, having narrow, spineless leaves. Instead of the teeth along the leaves, this one has these hair-like filaments. Of course, it did have the needle on the tips of the leaves.
I moved the Agave geminiflora ‘Rasta Man’ to the east sunroom at the mansion when it started getting cooler.
I moved from the mansion in Leland, Mississippi back to the family farm in mid-Missouri in February 2013. Of course, I took my Agave geminiflora ‘Rasta Man’ with me along with most of my other succulents. I don’t think it appreciated the 8-9 hour trip in the back of the trailer at 30 degrees. Some of the leaves started turning black and it lost several.
It started looking much better after a while and adapted nicely to life on the farm. Where this species of Agave isn’t winter hardy, they make excellent potted specimens. They adapt very well to being inside over the winter providing they have adequate light and proper soil. They like regular watering during the summer but very sparingly during the winter months, if at all. They should be in a good-sized pot, some information suggests they like a pot as wide as they are, but that would be very large for sure… Just allow for good root growth and they will be fine. The soil should be very fast draining. I used Miracle Grow and other name brands with added grit chicken grit from the feed store) and perlite, about a 2-1-1 mixture. I have also heard pumice is a good choice instead chicken grit.
Family: Asparagaceae (formerly Agavaceae)
Origin: Southwest Mexico
Zones: USDA Zones 9-11
Height & Spread: 2-3’
Light: Full sun to part shade
*Agave species are very easy to grow in the ground where cold hardy and in pots where they are not. There are a lot of potting soil recipes online and many people develop their own with experience and what is readily available. Read the ingredients on the bag and always start with a base of a reliable brand name potting soil. I always use either Miracle Grow or Schultz Potting soil because I can buy it in large bags. They also offer cactus soil in smaller bags with similar ingredients. I used 2 parts potting soil with 1 part additional perlite and 1 part chicken grit. After reading that cactus and succulent enthusiasts were recommending pumice in place of perlite and grit, I decided to try it. So, in late 2018 I purchased a bag of pumice online from General Pumice. I have been using a combination of about 50% potting soil and 50% pumice with favorable results.
The older it got, the hairier it became. Temperatures started getting cooler toward the middle of October, so I had to be prepared to move my succulents inside for the winter. Well, I am never prepared for cooler weather because I don’t want it to come.
We made it through the winter with flying colors and the Agave geminiflora ‘Rasta Man’ was happy to get back outside in the fresh air and better light.
The above photo shows how hairy this Agave is getting.
This Agave species can tolerate much more shade than many other species. It grows in forested areas in its native environment in Southwest Mexico. I always grew mine in part to light shade and it always did very well.
I give the Agave geminiflora ‘Rasta Man’ a big five-star Belmont Rooster rating. It is a fine smaller Agave and I never had any problems with it. I no longer have this plant but hopefully, someday I will find another one.
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