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Variegated Swan's Neck

Variegated Swan's Neck


Succulentopedia

Agave attenuata 'Variegata' (Variegated Fox Tail Agave)

Agave attenuata 'Variegata' (Variegated Fox Tail Agave) is an attractive succulent that forms rosettes of pale green leaves marked with…


Dianella, Tasman Flax Lily, Tasmanian Flax Lily 'Variegata'

Category:

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Foliage:

Foliage Color:

Height:

Spacing:

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual

Danger:

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen clean and dry seeds

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Regional

This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Fort Lauderdale, Florida(3 reports)

Jacksonville, Florida(2 reports)

Greenwell Springs, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana(2 reports)

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Saint Helena Island, South Carolina

Gardeners' Notes:

On Dec 29, 2019, Rests from Bryan, TX wrote:

I have had this in a bed for over a year. It has never really grown much. I wonder if it needs more sun than the hour it gets in the morning. I have tried fertilizing it more often, but it just it never really does anything. It said on the label from Lowe's that it needs partial shade, but I see some in town that gets full sun for hours that is growing like crazy. I may try moving it somewhere else and see what happens.

I have grown more negative about this plant. I have done everything to grow it in the right conditions. It has been a real dud. Never grows and the plant just flops over. I think I am going to just pull it up and throw it away. It just always looks ugly. It could be our salty water here in South Central Texas. read more ?

On Sep 21, 2015, kdlady from Smyrna, GA wrote:

I am in Zone 7b and I was surprised when this plant came back in the Spring. I had given it no additional protection assuming it would not make it through the freezes in No. Georgia. Since it came up very late, and was very slow to recover for the season, I now have a nice sized plant in a container that I will bring inside when it gets below freezing and put it back outside when the weather warms.

On May 19, 2015, docaly from Albuquerque, NM wrote:

Since moving from central FL almost 9 years ago where I first discovered Dianella, I have been seeing this plant everywhere in the Austin, TX area. It thrives in the very hot and dry TX heat, doesn't seem to mind it in dappled light or direct afternoon sun. It even does well in spite of some fairly cold nights.

As a test environment, I put it in my front and back yards and put it on ignore with annual rain and summer drip (1x per week), average. It's very happy. Like someone else said in FL nurseries, we can't seem to keep it in stock in Austin, either!

I would suggest that zones 8a and 8b be added to the areas where this does quite well. It's a great overall plant!

On Jun 16, 2013, vossner from East Texas,
United States (Zone 8a) wrote:

Very striking foliage on this plant. Easily available in the Houston area and I see it planted in many places, to the point it might become overused, like photinias or Knockout roses. I think the details should be modified to say it is hardy to zone 9a. Low water, high water, low sun, high sun, it seems to take it all in stride.

The flower is completely insignificant. I have posted a picture of the flower zoomed to the nth degree--and it is pretty. But in reality, the flower is so irrelevant on this plant that it looks like debris when you walk by it. I systematically cut the stalks off b/c they take away from the overall beauty of the plant.

On May 5, 2013, MetaLark from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have the variegated flax lily growing in a shady spot--but with a little dappling of sunlight part of the day. It is a very slow grower, and I nearly lost it one year due to overwatering. But now, at four years, it is looking beautiful, and I tell it so every day.

On Feb 8, 2012, TRUNK from North Andrews Gardens, FL wrote:

North Andrews Gardens Neighborhood - Oakland Park Florida. I love using this plant.It has become my new favorite plant to use. It feels light and gives the illusion that a small garden is larger. I am currently designing a pond and using this Variegated Flax as a 3 foot buffer so far. Thsi is a work in progress. with pygmy date palms

I grow mine here in St Pete, FL in full, all day Florida sun. It is in an extremely hot and dry part of the landscape with very well drained sandy soil. It has never once suffered, and I planted it in the heat of the early summer and never once have added supplemental water except during the first week. It never browns and doesn't seem to be affected by our mild winter weather (to about 32 deg F a few days each year). i am so impressed at it's easy upkeep that i just bought 15 more for the areas where nothing else will grow. the blooms are non-descript at best, bit the foliage is striking and healthy. A++

On Apr 4, 2011, spaceman_spiff from Saint Petersburg, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Just planted four "clumps" of this plant, after having been given them by a neighbor down the street. I must say I'm surprised to see the several comments stating that it should be in partial shade and not full sun the neighbor who gave them to me (lives only 4 or 5 houses down) said it thrives in full sun (and when we say "full sun" in Florida when mean FULL SUN). So . I planted all four of the clumps in spots that are mostly in sun all day long. I guess I'll find out how much the plant likes it as the eternal torturous summer approaches.

On May 26, 2010, Kiyzersoze from Coral Springs, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I love this plant. Never has dead leaves that need cutting, is almost always always in bloom, doesn't take over, and is pretty much care free. If you are using it to fill in an area it will take a while. It is not quick to spread.

On Oct 24, 2009, donnacreation from Sumter, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant is marketed here in central SC, and the tags say cold hardy to zone 8a. My flax lilies turned to mush during this past winter, but they are still green and firm at their base. I'm hoping they'll return quickly this spring - if not, they aren't a good choice for my neck of the woods.
Update July 2010 - After a very cold winter my flax lilies have returned and are about 1' in length . Variegated japanese iris has a similar look and is better suited for my area.

On Oct 24, 2009, donnacreation from Sumter, SC wrote:

This plant is marketed here in central SC, and the tags say cold hardy to zone 8a. My flax lilies turned to mush during this past winter, but they are still green and firm at their base. I'm hoping they'll return quickly this spring - if not, they aren't a good choice for my neck of the woods.
Update July 2010 - After a very cold winter my flax lilies have returned and are about 1' in length . Variegated japanese iris has a similar look and is better suited for my area.

On Oct 24, 2009, donnacreation from Sumter, SC wrote:

This plant is marketed here in central SC, and the tags say cold hardy to zone 8a. My flax lilies turned to mush during this past winter, but they are still green and firm at their base. I'm hoping they'll return quickly this spring - if not, they aren't a good choice for my neck of the woods.
Update July 2010 - After a very cold winter my flax lilies have returned and are about 1' in length . Variegated japanese iris has a similar look and is better suited for my area.

On Oct 24, 2009, donnacreation from Sumter, SC wrote:

This plant is marketed here in central SC, and the tags say cold hardy to zone 8a. My flax lilies turned to mush during this past winter, but they are still green and firm at their base. I'm hoping they'll return quickly this spring - if not, they aren't a good choice for my neck of the woods.
Update July 2010 - After a very cold winter my flax lilies have returned and are about 1' in length . Variegated japanese iris has a similar look and is better suited for my area.

As a landscape designer I have used this plant a few times in plans. I too love it's many attributes from color to drought tolerance. The one significant problem we have with it here is Rust. I know of designers here who won't use it because of this problem.

On Feb 15, 2008, LeslieT from Bellaire, TX wrote:

I've grown this lovely plant for several years in the Houston area under appropriate cultural conditions. I am plagued with heavy scale infestation which is much worse in shadier conditions. As an organic gardener, I am unwilling to use systemic insecticides and so far, horticultural oil has not helped. I am considering removing nearly all of these large, lovely plants because they've become so unsightly. This is extremely disappointing.

On Dec 4, 2006, Dinu from Mysore,
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

This is an absolutely striking plant for its brilliant foliage! It looks esp. lovely if a clump is grown on top of a small mound of lawn. I have seen this as part of a design in many a landscaping.

I have mine in the ground (it broke off the pot I grew in within 2 years) and I must say it is doing great and it does not ask for much water. It has not been attacked by any pest so far.

On Jul 25, 2006, figgybonsai from Lakeland, FL wrote:

I work at a large nursery here in town and I must say that as hard as we have tried we cant keep it in stock, even in this sweltering summer heat it is thriving.

On May 16, 2006, shel from Van Nuys, CA wrote:

Grows well in extremely dry conditions with no direct sun at all, but in bright shade. The variegation on the leaves got a very pretty pink cast to them after one year. Going into the second year with it,seems to mutiply by expanding clumps, so I have repotted it.

On Apr 14, 2006, sterhill from Atlanta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I've not had much success with this plant - well, not yet. I moved three of them into more shade, cut back the leaves into fans, replanted in forest loam and I now have one new blade. I moved them as they seemed to be getting too much sun and the leaves were browning. Full sun does not necessarily mean full sun in Atlanta.

On Jul 2, 2005, Alocasiaaddict from Interlachen, FL wrote:

Not growing as vigorously as I had hoped, even under ideal conditions. I will fertilize with time release to see if it becomes more productive.

On Aug 9, 2004, henryr10 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

Ours is potted and gets only about an hour or two of full late afternoon sun. It is thriving.
Watering is no chore as it seems to love dry conditions.

A quite beautiful plant for partial shade.
It really lights up a dark area.

The strangest thing happens in dappled light though.
On a windy day or one w/ fast moving clouds it seems to disappear in the glare of the sun, only to reappear as the shade hits it.

I thought at first it was my vision going.
I've since had several people look at it and they see the same thing w/o prompting.
Quite odd!

On Nov 19, 2003, rosemarysims from Mermentau, LA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I find this to be an excellent plant along the gulf coastal plain. It should be grown only in morning or late afternoon sun here though. This form is much more vigorous and satisfactory than the species. It's quite striking and better than most variegated iris we can grow for foliage.

On Nov 19, 2003, Ultraviolet from Fort Lauderdale, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I use this plant frequently in landscape designs in South Florida. Occasionally it gets covered in scale more often in heavy shade and less often in sunnier spots. The foliage is very striking.


Winter Shipping in Effect

At this time we are shipping by USPS Express Mail (USA only), and we include heat packs in the shipping carton. (We do not ship overseas during this period.) Shipping charges will be at our winter shipping rates. (See Shipping Information.) If you place an order now and choose USPS Express Mail (Winter Shipping Only) as your shipping method, your order will be filled and shipped as soon as is practical.*

Please Note: We do not offer expedited shipping! Express Mail is just the method of shipping we use.

If, however, you choose one of the summer shipping methods, we will hold your order until our summer shipping season (approximately April 15). Since we accumulate a lot of orders over the winter, those orders placed earliest will be shipped first, and those orders placed last will be delayed until we "catch up," which could take as long as 4 weeks, so please be patient.

*If we get extremely cold weather, we might need to hold your order until the temperatures moderate back upwards, so that conditions are more favorable for survival. On the other hand, if we get a warm spell or if you live in the southern states, we might be able to ship by USPS Priority Mail, and we will adjust your total accordingly. (We will always use the lower shipping rate if possible.)


Trumpeter Swans are immense waterfowl with heavy bodies and long necks typically held straight both on the water and in flight. The large bill slopes gradually down from the forehead.

Relative Size

The largest waterfowl species in North America slightly larger than a Mute Swan and considerably larger than a Tundra Swan.

goose-sized or larger

Measurements
  • Both Sexes
    • Length: 54.3-62.2 in (138-158 cm)
    • Weight: 271.6-448.0 oz (7700-12700 g)
    • Wingspan: 79.9 in (203 cm)

Adult Trumpeter Swans are entirely white with a black bill and black legs. Immatures are gray-brown.

Trumpeter Swans forage in fairly shallow water, reaching under the surface to eat aquatic vegetation and at times tipping up in the manner of a dabbling duck. They also visit agricultural fields to eat spilled or leftover grains and crops.

Trumpeter Swans breed in open habitats near shallow water bodies. They winter on estuaries, large lakes, and rivers that remain at least partially ice-free year-round. They sometimes forage in fields.


Plant of the Month: Swan’s neck agave adds beauty and grows in variety of places

The lovely arching inflorescence of the Agave attenuata can be spotted in many gardens in Kona this month. This attractive plant is native to Mexico and is now the most commonly grown agave in Hawaii. Beyond the beauty of its blooming raceme, the swan’s neck agave has many features to recommend it to Kona growers.

Hailing from upper elevations in the western states of Mexico, attenuate adapts easily to our climate and can grow in many of the locations and soil types that we have here. It has soft light green leaves that make it an attractive addition to any landscape and its drought tolerance recommends it for local xeriscape gardens.

Agave attenuate is commonly known as either swan’s neck agave or fox tail agave. Both common names refer to the long flower stalk it produces annually. The stalk can be 10 or more feet long growing straight up then arching so the tip turns downward. The graceful arch does resemble the neck of a swan and its fluffy appearance is similar to a fox’s tail.

This member of the large Agavaceae family is one of the few in the Agave genera that is un-armed. It has neither sharp leaf tips nor spiny leaf margins like some of its close relatives. The century plant (Agave americana) and other less common species that grow here all have spiny leaf margins or sharp pointed tips. Among the more than 600 species in the Agavaceae family are many un-armed plants that are commonly grown in Hawaii. Ti plants, members of the Cordyline genera, as well as dracenas, sensevierias and yuccas are all in the Agavaceae family.

Agave attenuata is a succulent perennial. The supporting trunk can grow to 5 feet tall and the plant can spread out to 8 or more feet wide with individual rosettes as large as 4 feet across. The pale green leaves have pointed tips but are soft and pliable.

The swan’s neck agave is unique in its flowering habit. This agave usually blooms once a year, but unlike other agaves, it does not die after flowering. It produces a long and dense raceme of tiny light greenish yellow flowers, usually in the fall. As the stalk grows the weight of the long tip causes it to turn downward producing a graceful arch much like the neck of a swan. The flowers are pollinated on the maturing stalk but soon drop off leaving small green fruit in their place. This fruit will eventually drop as well. In the right conditions, the seeds will germinate and produce a new plant.

A much more reliable propagation method for this species is to replant off-shoots, known as pups that are produced on the trunk below the leaves. Like many agave plants, attenuata does not have deep roots but the pups should root easily when they fall or are placed on a fertile growing medium. When they are young, occasional watering will encourage them to grow and become established. This agave grows best when it is planted out of direct, hot sun, in partial shade or a spot that doesn’t get day-long sun and heat exposure. Though they prefer occasional watering, they can also sustain short periods of drought. Soil that drains well is the best growing medium for this and other succulents that cannot tolerate wet feet.

Another attractive feature of the swan’s neck agave is its low maintenance requirements. Very few pests or diseases attack this plant. It can survive on very little fertilizer though a light application several times a year can help it to thrive. The only pruning needed is to cut back the inflorescence once it has died and to remove any suckers from the trunk that you want to use for propagating new plants.

The swan’s neck agave can add interest to your landscape in several ways. When planted in a group, the necks will often all face in the same direction which can provide a striking display. Grown singly in a small garden or a pot, they make an eye-catching specimen plant when in bloom. Though they have shallow roots and are well suited to growing in a pot, a large, heavy pot is recommended to prevent toppling when the heavy blossom stalk appears.

Since many swan’s neck agave are currently in bloom and easy to spot around town, you may want to ask someone who has them to share a few pups with you. Otherwise you can check with Margo from Sunrise at 640-9191 to see if she can recommend a source.

Diana Duff is a plant adviser, educator and consultant living in a dryland forest north of Kailua-Kona.


Watch the video: How Swan Neck Wings Work