Coastal and Tropical South

December, 2011
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Foxtail Agave
Also called swan's neck, lion's tail, and spineless agave, Agave attenuata resembles its family members but lacks their spines. The result is a graceful plant native to west central Mexico that can be seen in gardens more often than in its home habitat these days. Grown as a container plant everywhere or long lived garden plant in most of our regions, foxtail agave is a bold presence even as a young plant. As it ages, the plant develops its characteristic curved stems and finally blooms exuberantly with a huge spike of yellowish green flowers. Each stem dies back after it blooms, but the clump grows on.

Tool or Gardening Product

Pruning Stik Tree Pruner
If you are tired of heavy pole pruners and sick of trying to keep their ropes from tangling, try this tool. The blade is operated by pulling a handle so no rope is involved to get the most from a cutting head that rotates readily to make the cut where you want it. For trimming branches about one inch in diameter at a distance of more than four feet away from you, this Fiskars tool is unparalleled. Perhaps best of all, the Pruning Stik weighs less than three pounds but is durable enough to carry a lifetime warranty. Hard to wrap, but a most welcome gift for any gardener.

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