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Pacific Plant Promotions: Beschorneria rigida

Articles: Pacific Plant Promotions: Beschorneria rigida

Beschorneria rigida in the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley. Photograph by Barbara Lyss

The ten species of Beschorneria form an interesting but little known genus in the agave family (Agavaceae). Although several Beschorneria have great garden potential, they remain underutilized. In particular, Beschorneria rigida stands out as a plant worthy of a prominent spot in many gardens.

Each of the ten Beschorneria species originate in Mexico, but their ranges vary considerably. Beschorneria rigida is naturally found in the understory of highland oak and pine forests from 6,000 to 8,000 feet elevation in the states of Guanajuato, San Luis Potosi, and Tamaulipas in central Mexico. They attract, and are pollinated by, hummingbirds.

All species of Beschorneria form rosettes of succulent leaves. They display a wide variety in leaf color and stature, from the eight-foot glaucus leaves of B. yuccoides subsp. yuccoides to the bright green leaves of the trunk-forming B. albiflora.

The stature of Beschorneria rigida is ideal for garden use; it sports mid-green sword-shaped leaves, one inch wide...

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