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Scientific: Agave victoriae-reginae
Common: Queen Victoria agave
Family: Asparagaceae (subfamily Agavoideae)
Origin: Coahuila, Durango, and Nuevo Leon in Mexico, found almost exclusively on rocky canyon slopes.

Pronounciation: A-GA-ve vic-tor-EE-a re-GIN-a-e

Hardiness zones
11-13, 18-24
USDA 9-11

Landscape Use: Small accent agave, great for rock gardens, display gardens, containers, xeriscape.

Form & Character: Diminutive, stout, and colorful. It beckons to be admired in an small open space in the landscape.

Growth Habit: Evergreen, succulent perennial that slowly forms a dense basal rosette (only 8 inches tall by 1 foot wide) by producing copious small basal offsets called "hijuelos", monocarpic.

Foliage/Texture: Small, compact rosette of short, rigid, dark green, thick, spine-tipped leaves with conspicuous white markings and smooth, toothless margins. Very interesting agave! Quite coarse textured too.

Flowers & Fruits: Blooms cream with purplish tinge on a tall spike without branches. Like most agaves, the mother plant dies after flowering.

Seasonal Color: None

Temperature: Tolerant of both Phoenix desert heat and cold.

Light: Full sun, but partial shade away from fully exposed western summer sun is best for the Phoenix area.

Soil: Avoid poorly drained soils, needs good drainage. Prefers a calcareous soil that drains fast.

Watering: Little to none required after establishment. Keep dry in the winter.

Pruning: None

Propagation: Separation of basal offsets, seed 

Disease and Pests: None

Additional comments: Queen Victoria agave is a highly desirable, very small desert agave for accentuating small 'desert theme' landscape spaces where visual detail is desired. Queen Victoria agave is not for large expansive landscape spaces. This agave is definitely on my bucket list of "very cool plants that I gotta have in my yard". The cultivar 'Porcupine' is clonal selection that has very thick compact green leaves with white leaf edges that makes it look like "an artichoke flower carved out of green stone". The cultivar 'Golden Princess' has smooth dark green leaves edged with a broad yellow margin and patterns of white markings on the leaf tapering to a small terminal spine. The cultivars 'Kazo Bana', 'Ring of Gold, and 'Tora Fu' are variously variegated and will required no western sun if cultured in an around the Phoenix area.

Taxonomic musings: Agave nickelsiae (formerly Agave ferdinand-regis) is very similar in appearance to Queen Victoria agave and as a result there is much confusion in differentiating between the two species. Agave nickelsiae x scabra (shark skin agave) is a wonderfully compact hybrid without any leaf marginal patterns of striation.

Awesome Agave hybrids: There are two Agave victoria-reginae x Agave macroacantha hybrids that horticultural plant freaks like myself can get quite excited about. They are that special.

They are:

Some question whether these two landscape gems are different hybrids or are they the same hybrid cross? You be the judge. But to me there's no question. They are quite different based on their clumping habit, size and length of leaves, and the overall size of individual rosettes at maturity.