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Although it's rarely offered for sale, our native deciduous agave should be grown in every garden where it's hardy. This easy-to-grow, drought-tolerant perennial, native from Illinois south to Florida, makes a flat rosette of fleshy green leaves, often spotted liver-purple. Amazingly, Manfreda virginica has also thrived for years in southern Minnesota gardens. In midsummer, Manfreda virginica rosettes are topped with 6' tall flower spikes, ending in a floral cluster of amazing, tubular purple flowers with huge yellow anthers (related to tuberose). We have found these to be especially loved by hummingbirds. Some European taxonomists have lumped manfreda into the genus agave...if I catch 'em in a dark alley, I'll show 'em what lumping is really all about!
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