Agave shawii at the Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center.
Plantsman Gerhard Bock of the terrific Succulents and More blog made a dash to SoCal last weekend, and we met over at the Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center to check out the plants and the views. We both spent some time admiring two variegated stands of Agave shawii.
Agave shawii is more common in the wild in Baja California than it is here in Alta Cali, where most of the plant's native habitat has been paved over. Here's a distribution map. And here is a page from Calflora comparing shawii's ideal growing conditions to the inland location where I took these photos. Shaw agaves don't like inland heat, and they burn in full sun. At Jurupa, though, conditions (sloping ground, filtered shade) seem to be ideal. The plants Gerhard and I saw last week were beautiful.
The variegation on the plant below was wonderful. Hard to tell from this photo, but most of the plants in the colony seemed to be variegated:
I have a little, variegated shawii of my own, acquired a couple years ago via trade with Riverside succulent expert Rob Roy MacGregor. Hope it looks this good someday! Be sure to check out Gerhard's blog for more terrific photos from Jurupa.