Agave ‘Shira ito no Ohi’

Or, more specifically, Agave filifera ssp. schidigera ‘Shira ito no Ohi’ (Queen of White Thread Century Plant). No one seems to know the origin of the variegated form of this wee agave with the big name, whose queenly title was bestowed by Tony Avent of Plant Delights. Another gorgeous agave for containers, I slipped mine from its confines this summer and released it into the garden, hoping to push its speed of growth up a bit. At maturity, it won’t be much larger than a foot across. I don’t typically grow sharp, spiky plants in the back garden, which gets changed up often. That’s what the front gravel garden is for. But this slow-growing agave’s single rosette is not destined for intimidation, just endless fascination.

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Agave filifera ssp. schidigera ‘Shira ito no Ohi.’ Nice threads.
Another Mexican succulent, Echeveria elegans, the Mexican Snowball, providing scale.
If memory serves (and it often doesn’t), it was this echeveria that designer Kellee Adams said was the most sun-tolerant at the Wave Garden in Richmond, California, a stop during the 2013 Garden Bloggers Fling.

In an August 22nd lecture on “The Amazing Plants of Mexico,” Brian Kemble, Curator of The Ruth Bancroft Garden, pointed out that this agave’s famous threads are a recessive trait. When crossing a “thready” agave with one lacking threads, progeny will always be threadless. In case you were wondering.

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5 Responses to Agave ‘Shira ito no Ohi’

  1. Michelle says:

    I have this one. I think it may be my favorite. Of course it won’t ever go in the ground here. Mine grows in a cobalt blue pot.

  2. Denise says:

    Hi Michelle! A cobalt blue pot sounds perfect. I might eventually repot mine too.

  3. Hoov says:

    Dainty without being overly precious. The little ones get lost in my yard. Monsters only, here.

  4. David Feix says:

    While Echeveria elegans is quite tolerant of full sun or bright shade here in the SF Bay Area, I wouldn’t personally call it the most sun tolerant of the more commonly seen clumpers here. Echeveria agavoides, secunda, or imbricata would be my suggestion for most full sun tolerant, and subrigida is a good one too.
    David in Berkeley

  5. Denise says:

    Hoov, believe me, I’d include more monsters if there was room.
    David, thanks for that input. There were big swathes of E. agavoides here too, looking fat and happy.

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