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Agaves: Living Sculptures for Landscapes and Containers

By Greg Starr

Once you've seen his photos and read his descriptions, you may find yourself crossing over into agave-nut territory yourself.


Gardeners and garden designers are having a love affair with agaves. It's easy to see why—they're low maintenance, drought-tolerant, and strikingly sculptural, with an astounding range of form and color. Many species are strikingly variegated, and some have contrasting ornamental spines on the edges of their leaves. Fabulous for container gardening or in-the-ground culture, they combine versatility with easy growability.

In Agaves, plant expert Greg Starr profiles 75 species, with additional cultivars and hybrids, best suited to gardens and landscapes. Each plant entry includes a detailed description of the plant, along with its cultural requirements, including hardiness, sun exposure, water needs, soil requirements, and methods of propagation. Agaves can change dramatically as they age and this comprehensive guide includes photos showing each species from youth to maturity—a valuable feature unique to this book.

Media reviews

"Will prove especially useful for budding botanists and gardeners interested in learning more about agaves in their native habitat."

Library Journal

"Details 75 species with suggestions on how to add it to the home garden ... each photo-rich entry also includes a description and care advice."

Arizona Daily Star

"Help[s] readers select plants properly and use them in conjunction with other compatible species."

The Desert Sun

"Once you've seen his photos and read his descriptions, you may find yourself crossing over into agave-nut territory yourself."


"An extremely useful addition to my library, but even more than that it manages, on every page, to increase the excitement I feel about these wonderful plants."

Danger Garden

About the author

Greg Starr

Greg Starr is a foremost proponent of Xeriscaping in the American Southwest. He is well known as an expert on low-water-use plants, and has spent most of his life popularizing and promoting the use of xeric plants such as agaves, leucophyllums, daleas, and many others. Greg owns and operates Starr Nursery, which specializes in agaves, cactus, and xeric shrubs.

Read more about Greg Starr

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