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Little agave offers striking contrast with white, red leaves

Shadow Dancer dwarf hybrid agave features pale green leaves that fade to parchment white as they age. The leaves are edged with distinctive dark red.
Shadow Dancer dwarf hybrid agave features pale green leaves that fade to parchment white as they age. The leaves are edged with distinctive dark red.

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Garden Gems” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and that add sparkle to drought-tolerant landscapes.

Shadow Dancer dwarf hybrid agave

Agave x romani ‘Shadow Dancer’

Size: To 1 foot tall and wide.

Bloom season: Unknown.

Exposure: Partial sun or speckled shade.

Pruning needs: None.

Water needs: Low; once established, water deeply one a month.

Snapshot: An intriguing new plant on the garden scene, Shadow Dancer agave is a small spiky succulent with unusual pale leaves edged in dark red. The leaves start a very light green, then fade to parchment white as they age. It’s especially attractive as an accent in the front of a planting bed or in containers.

For more on “Garden Gems,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

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