From 3000m altitude in the mountain forests of northeastern Mexico, Agave montana is a fairly new plant to cultivation. It is uncommonly beautiful, forming a densely packed dome of wide leaves resembling, when mature, a giant houseleek. Each plant is uniquely marked and varyingly toothy yet instantly recognisable as an Agave montana. Due to its high altitude woodland habitat the Mountain Agave is more moisture tolerant than most agaves and has been known to survive -12C in the open garden in parts of England. However its amazing form can be enjoyed just as much when kept potted and grown under cover.
Nolina nelsonii (Nelson’s Blue Bear Grass)
The Queen of Agaves, it not only is the most beautiful but the most suitable for growing in climates with cold, wet winters – 15oC even in damp conditions. This is not a desert plant! Dense, solitary rosette of wide, powdery grey-green with reddish thorny margins and terminal spine.