Echeveria agavoides ‘Ebony’

Seen at the 2013 Inter-City Cactus & Succulent Show held at the Los Angeles County Arboretum over the weekend.

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Once again, on the show table, not the sales table. Echeveria agavoides ‘Ebony,’ intensely desirable and chronically unavailable. Is it going to take a Kickstarter campaign to get this propagated and into general circulation?

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Another arresting sight at the show was Boophone disticha.

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A South African bulb with a spectacular bloom that I covet more for those seductively twisted leaves. I brought a small one home from the sales tables.

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The sea squill, Urginea maritima. Being a mile from the ocean, I doubt I could go far wrong in making a garden just with plants that included the descriptor “maritima” or “maritimum.” Sturdy plants like Crithmum maritimum and the sea kale that filled Derek Jarman’s garden, Crambe maritima. I’d love to try the sea squill in the gravel garden, but it’s really not large enough an area to hold sufficient numbers of these massive bulbs for a good effect. Anyway, the bulbs are pricey. None for sale that I saw at the show.

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The sea squill with adjacent boophone leaves. By the time the sea squill blooms late summer, its leaves have died down.

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The arboretum’s unofficial mascot, its image found on coffee cups for sale in the gift shop. He hung out with me while I admired a hedge of Grevillea ‘Moonlight.’
The national bird of India seems to feel right at home in the intense summer heat of the San Gabriel Valley.

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I’ve decided that Grevillea ‘Moonlight’ has to be my next big shrub purchase. Tolerates pruning? Check. Attracts wildlife? Check. Low water needs? And check.

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Stunningly beautiful? Double check.


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20 Responses to Echeveria agavoides ‘Ebony’

  1. Hoov says:

    Your photos are better! Grrr.

    The Urginea maritima is nice as a one-of.

    Those agavoides hybrids are darn fussy–could that be the problem?

    Yes, you need that Grevillea.

  2. Denise says:

    Hoov, which hybrids? ‘Lipstick’ is easy. And it sounds like you know this grevillea well.

  3. Mark and Gaz says:

    Must look out for an E. ‘Ebony’now, it’s gorgeous!

  4. Denise says:

    M&G, if you find it I’ll be so jealous! I wish they’d tissue culture this echeveria.

  5. Grevillea ‘Moonlight’…nice choice!
    (she says being just a little bit jealous)

  6. Denise says:

    Loree, it doesn’t seem to be available locally. There is an aussie nursery in Ventura Co. with 5-gallons of it, so maybe a quick road trip is in order…

  7. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Some drool worthy plants! I love my Echeveria agavoides but ‘Ebony’ is truly gorgeous!

  8. Oooo la la, I’d love to have that Echeveria agavoides ‘Ebony’! What a beauty! Really love the Grevillea too. I have zone envy…. LOL

  9. Tom says:

    I just found some large Urginias at Home Depot for $15.

    I have heard that Ebony has been tissue cultured.

  10. Denise says:

    @Peter, see Tom’s comment below — he thinks it’s finally been tissue cultured!
    @Deanne, that zone envy, don’t we all have it in some form or other?
    @Tom, whenever I post on Ebony I get lots of emails asking for sources. It’s always seemed to be a succulent crying out for tissue culture, so that’s great news if it’s true. And thanks for the tip on the sea squill source.

  11. Chris says:

    E. agavoides ebony is a great form. They can get really big as well. They do offset after a few years but not as fully as many, they also take from leaves, again not as easily as many form. The best bet is seeds, they are very easy and grow quickly.

  12. Les says:

    As I was leaving a meeting at the zoo last night, I noticed a peacock and a peahen wandering in the parking lot. They had no respect for fence.

  13. Kris P says:

    I’m becoming increasingly enamored with Grevillea but I haven’t seen one this color before. That Boophone is also very interesting. I haven’t made it to an LA Arboretum show/sale in several years but definitely have to plan on getting there for the next one – they always seem to have plants you can’t find anywhere else. Thanks for sharing pics of your visit!

  14. Denise says:

    @Chris, now you’ve got me intrigued as to how big Ebony can get.
    @Les, these birds definitely have the haughty manner down pat.
    @Kris, I’ve been checking out this grevillea whenever I visit the LA Arb. It’s supposedly rarely out of bloom, and so far that seems to be the case.

  15. Blackswampgirl Kim says:

    You do the kick started, let me know – I’m in!

  16. Kaveh says:

    That Echeveria is crazy! I have the Urginea but they are not blooming for me (or doing anything). I hope they aren’t dead.

    The peacocks at LA Arboretum are cool but I wouldn’t want them wandering around my neighborhood. They make the most ridiculous sound like a cat meowling through a megaphone and because of them the Arboretum can’t have bedding plants or annuals.

  17. Pam/Digging says:

    Didn’t we see a Boophone at the Nichols garden during the Fling? I think I have a picture of it, potted in the upper part of the garden. I didn’t know the name at the time. Gorgeous picture of the peacock!

  18. David Feix says:

    I forget just where I got my first Grevillea ‘Moonlight’, but about 5 years in the ground it’s now about 6′ x 6′, and is just loaded with blooms this summer. At least here in Berkeley, it only blooms most of the year, really slowing down in winter. It’s set lots of seed this August, and I’ve been collecting it. You have to pick them before they open, because they immediately release. Beautiful shots of some great plants, I only have the Lipstick form of E. agavoides, as well as an all green form. I love the LA County Arboretum, ever so much more subtropical than up north here. It’s amazing to me what they can still grow well there given the peacocks. thanks for sharing this
    David in Berkeley

  19. Denise says:

    @Kim, I keep hearing that Ebony is getting tissue-cultured, so we’ll hold off on the kickstarter for now…;)
    @Kaveh, I was at a talk recently that mentioned there’s a huge market for this echeveria and specialty agaves in Korea…who knew?
    @Pam, I missed that garden! Loved your post on it.
    @David, thanks for giving the dimensions. I can live with 6X6 after five years.

  20. Ariel says:

    OMG, It’s adorable, I also wanna get an Ebony, are there any one know any nursery?

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