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A great plant for a modern landscape design

Because of their elegant form and wonderful color, variegated Agaves make a perfect addition to a modern landscape design with one notable drawback: most of them have long and strong spines making them a dangerous choice for near walkways or around children. The solution you often see is Agave attenuata, the gentle blue spineless agave. But what if you want the gorgeous variegation and something a little more unusual? Aren’t we all getting a little tired of seeing modern landscapes covered in blue spineless agaves (or is that just me)?

The two plants shown here are both a great solution. The first is the bright lemon yellow variegated Agave ‘Kara’s Stripes’. It has the same form as Agave attenuata but in a startling bright color. “Kara’s Stripes’ was discovered by Gary Gragg of Golden Gate Palms & Exotics Nursery, who removed it as a sport emerging from a plant growing in his garden and named it for his wife. It is being marketed in the U.S. through PlantHaven but you can find it now at many of the good local retail nurseries around the county.

The second option is to look for a gentle look-alike. The image on the left is Furcrea ‘Mediopicta’. It has the same rosette form and bold variegation, but with soft flexible leaves- making it both safe and beautiful. It is a striking specimen plant and works wonderfully for very modern landscapes, or for a tropical look that is water wise.

Want your own modern landscape design? Please take a minute to see how Sage Outdoor Designs can help you!

Sage Outdoor Designs is a San Diego landscape design firm. Kate
Wiseman, the Principal, has been a San Diego landscape designer
for the past ten years. Find out more at