Muskoka Lakes Gardens

In Bloom: Manfreda undulata ‘Chocolate Chip’

What a surprise when a flower stalk suddenly appeared on the Manfreda undulata ‘Chocolate Chip’ that at the moment resides in the jungle of potted succulents that is my business office window!

Manfreda is intently related to the agave (Household Agavaceae), a favourite genus that I have described below and there on this web-site. Like agaves, manfredas expand in a rosette development with leaves that arise from a central position. They have fleshy, succulent leaves that are a lot softer and less intensely fibrous than their cousin. Succulentish. They also deficiency spines. If you have an affinity for rising agaves you will know why this trait is appreciated.

This individual variety, ‘Chocolate Chip’ has amazing foliage. It is wavy and crinkled together the edges with a dim inexperienced foundation that is colored by deep mahogany splotches. That reported, I do not have photos of the plant to share with you now. I will occur back again to that one more time. Now is all about the flowers.


Unlike agave, manfreda is polycarpic, which means it can bloom regularly without having dying. This is lucky as the plant was a present from my friend Barry Parker. It is a awesome, healthier dimensions and I would like to preserve it, thank you really substantially. I have two other manfredas from him. Just one sits proper next to this 1 in my business. Both are hardy to zone 7 and can not reside outdoors year-spherical in my zone 5b(ish) weather. This winter started out off very moderate so I kept them in my sunny, unheated porch. By January it experienced began to freeze for stretches of time, so I moved them up to my business. They go outside the house (remaining in their pots) when all hazard of frost has handed. The 3rd plant (Manfreda virginica) is considerably considerably less flamboyant, but is meant to be hardy(ish) below. Technically, it is hardy to zone 6 but I generally try out to thrust the zones when it is close plenty of. In early 2014 I planted it alongside hardy cactus in the dry mattress (sandy, effectively draining soil). It survived by way of final winter’s hardship so there is no reason to suppose that it shouldn’t survive this one.


I really appreciated photographing these wispy, spidery blooms. They ended up such a joyful and sudden reward in these final times of winter season.


August 7, 2022

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