Manfreda and Polianthes

Tony Avent
Mon, 04 Dec 2006 09:22:16 PST

Sorry for the confusion.  Carl Schoenfeld of Yucca Do Nursery collected 
seed of Manfreda variegata in the wild in Mexico.  Upon growing the seed 
out when he returned, two plants were noticeably different....5' wide 
clumps compared to 18" for the typical species.  We originally assumed 
that they were simply tetraploid.  I went to Yucca Do to see the plants 
when they first flowered (May 2003) and Carl showed me that the flowers 
were different from Manfreda variegata.  As we wandered around their 
garden, we noticed that Agave celsi was flowering at the same time and 
began noticing that the flowers of M. 'Macha Mocha' seemed to be 
intermediate in character between Manfreda variegata and Agave celsi.  
Carl recalled that Agave celsi did indeed grow nearby the site where the 
Manfreda seed were collected. While none of this has been confirmed by 
DNA, it is obvious to anyone who has seen the M. 'Macha Mocha' in flower 
that it is most likely a cross between the two genera.  You can see a 
closeup of the plant with the bottom of the flower stalk at….  There were 
no seed set and I doubt we'll be seeing any from this creature.

Tony Avent
Plant Delights Nursery @
Juniper Level Botanic Garden
9241 Sauls Road
Raleigh, North Carolina  27603  USA
Minimum Winter Temps 0-5 F
Maximum Summer Temps 95-105F
USDA Hardiness Zone 7b
phone 919 772-4794
fax  919 772-4752
"I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it least three times" - Avent

John Grimshaw wrote:
> Tony - the origins of 'Macha Mocha' weren't quite clear to me from your post 
> yesterday. Was the wild parent plant an obvious hybrid (i.e. F1) such that 
> 'Macha Mocha' and its unreleased sib seedling are F2?
> Did its flowering at YD in 2003 result in any seed being set?
> John Grimshaw
> Sycamore Cottage
> Colesbourne
> Nr Cheltenham
> Gloucestershire GL53 9NP
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> pbs mailing list

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