Manfreda Plant Info – Learn About Manfreda Succulents

By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Manfreda is a member of a group of approximately 28 speciesand is also in the asparagus family. Manfreda succulents are native to thesouthwestern U.S., Mexico and Central America. These little plants prefer arid,drought riddled locations with low nutrients and plenty of sun. They are easyto grow and thrive on neglect. Read on for further Manfreda plant info.

Manfreda Plant Info

Succulent lovers will adore Manfreda plants. They have aninteresting form and unique foliage that makes for a great houseplant oroutdoor plant in hot, dry areas. Some of the species even have quitespectacular flowers. Good drainage is essential for these succulents,but minimal care is required.

Some growers refer to these plants as false agave due totheir rosette form and thick, succulent leaves with gentle serration along theedges, which do, in fact, resemble agaveplants. The leaves sprout from a short, bulbous stem and may be adornedwith attractive mottling in various colors. The flowers appear on tall stalksand are usually tubular in hues of white, green, yellow and bronzy-brown. Thestamens are erect and showy. Some types of Manfreda even boast delicatelyscented blooms.

Manfreda plants hybridize easily and the flat black seedsproduced after flowering germinate readily. You may find some interesting formsby growing seed from one species that was exposed to another.

Types of Manfreda

There are over two dozen types of Manfreda succulents in thewild, but not all are available to growers. Many can get up to 4 feet (1.2 m.)wide with flower scapes of 1 foot (.3 m.) in height. Leaves may be rigid andslightly arching to almost curled and ruffled. Some excellent hybrids availableare:

  • Mint Chocolate Chip (Manfreda undulata) – Minty green slender leaves decorated with chocolate hued mottling.
  • Longflower Tuberose (Manfreda longiflora) – Grayish green foliage with tall flower spikes of white which turn pink as the day ends and emerge red in the morning. A sweet spicy scent is emitted.
  • False Aloe (Manfreda virginica) – Native to the eastern United States, the flowers can grow on 7-foot (2 m.) stalks. Small, not terribly showy flowers but heavily scented.
  • Mottled Tuberose (Manfreda variegata) – Short flower stalks but, as the name suggests, beautifully variegated coloring on the foliage.
  • Texas Tuberose (Manfreda maculosa) – Low growing ground hugger with leaves bearing reddish purple to dark bronzy-brown streaks.
  • Cherry Chocolate Chip (Manfreda undulata) – A small plant with distinctly ruffled leaves that sport bright cherry red spots along with brownish streaking.

There are many other hybrids of thisplant because it is easy to cross, and growers have fun creating new forms.Some wild plants are endangered, so do not try to harvest any. Instead, usereputable growers to source these amazing plants.

This article was last updated on

I need a Manfreda expert!

Could anyone who is familiar with the Manfreda genus have a look at the plant files pictures here: They look to me as if more than one species or variety is present. My plant closely resembles the ones that Happenstance posted, but not the ones palmbob posted. It is also a far bigger plant than the ones described in the note from dmj1218. The flower spike last year topped out at over 6feet high, and the mature leaves are just over a foot long for each leaf, giving a final rosette diameter of nearly 2 feet. For the purposes of scale the outside edges of the hypertufa pot are about 7 inches apart.

Edited to remove dud link to personal dMail

This message was edited Apr 12, 2009 7:06 PM

No one grows any Manfreda? I really need an ID on my plant.

Here is photo #2, since I am posting anyway. Taken on 19th September - base of plant.

Another shot from the same day showing the height of the flower stem (well over a foot) and this was the first day I saw it!

Yours could be a hybrid due to all the spots, but spots do occur in the wild as well. Look at Yucca Do's manfreda varieties for comparison. I collected seed in the wild and now have a blooming one in the garden after 3 years. The stalk is probably 6 foot tall but the rosette is less than a foot across.

I did not see the pictures of Palmbob's manfreda so I cannot comment.

Your second link is to a D-mail and is private.

Here is a spotted one in the wild a few years ago.

I was afraid the dMail link would not work, Oh well it was worth a try. I was hoping not to have to post all eight pictures again as my upload speed is only 64kbps and it is taking me over three minutes to post each picture. What is a Yucca Do?

PS: by the 25th of September it was nearing the top of a six foot high fence!

Yucca Do is a Texas nursery specializing in desert plants from the American Southwest and Mexico.

They only list 4 manfreda varieties when I do a search but it's a start:

send Wade an email, he call tell you all you ever wanted to know about manfreda.

Thankyou, very much, hcmcdole and vossner. I will do just that a bit later on today as I have to go do some boring administrative stuff of my own now (sigh!) All of the pictures and descriptions I referred to in my first post are on the Manfreda maculosa Plant Files page. I am pretty convinced there is more than one species of Manfreda represented here, and it is this I am trying to get sorted out.

PS. Here it is again - having it's first look over the 6 foot fence on the third of October.

This message was edited Jul 23, 2008 6:20 AM

Some Manfreda's get somewhat larger---especially if they have excellent growing conditions and fertilizer. I have several in my yard and the one that gets a little more morning sun and water is substantually larger that the others. The bloom stalks on all my Manfredas are tall 4.5 to 6.5 feet. There are several cultivars available---mostly so designated based on the quantity of spotting on their leaves.

Hi kaelkitty, it looks like it could be manfreda "macha mocha".

I don't know how big mine will get, but bought these recently, and they look like yours. Mine was called Manfreda virginica 'Spot'

'Spot' is the particular cultivar name for this manfreda. I also have another one that has twice the amount of spots, but they are much tinier dots. The second links description, sounds like it might be the one, although you may have different cultivars available to you in Australia, that we do not have here in the states.

Honestly I cannot tell the difference between the variegata, and the spot. for that matter the maculosa look pretty similar, too, :0)

This message was edited Jul 22, 2008 7:06 PM

Hi ashjuniper, seedpicker and plantgeek,

I had to laugh when ash said "..have excellent growing conditions and fertiliser." This plant got my standard succulent potting mix when it went into this pot about 2 years ago (which is mainly compost and sharp sand with only a small amount of 4 month time release granules mixed in it) and nothing since except occasional compost tea. In winter last year we had the worst overnight frost I have seen in many years and then late in autumn this year we had two weeks straight of burning sun and temps over 35C/95F. We have had annual rains around 250mm/10inches of rain (less than 60% of our "normal" rainfall) for the last three years with water restrictions in place for the last year so it has had little or no supplementary water. Also, to top everything else off, I have realised while researching the name of this plant that its pot is actually far too small for its tuberous rootstock! Given all of that I would actually expect my plant to be SMALLER than an average specimen of its species certainly not as large as it actually is, if it were to be one of the smaller growing kinds.

I would also really be surprised if we had ANY cultivars of Manfreda in Australia. In forty years of plant collecting I have seen exactly 2 plants and, though I couldn't swear to it at such a remove (I saw the first one late in the 1970s or early in the 1980s, and the second one is the plant I now own) I suspect they were both the same taxon - they were certainly both spotted in about the same kind of pattern and had a similar leaf size and confirmation. Plant importation into Australia is both complex and expensive so the chances of seeing a wide range of taxa for a relatively rarely grown plant genus is pretty small.

Re the cultivar "Macha Mocha", plantgeek, if this ID is accurate it is definitely NOT my plant. It is pretty though, I think I want one! This photo came from the following blog page: where it is the 15th photo from the top of the page.

"Spot" is certainly a possibility - the Plant Files entry for it could use beefing up a bit - all you get at the moment is a single close up of about 4 leaves! However, looking at the Big Dipper Farms photo, I think this cultivar was selected out because it is SO heavily spotted. It also looks as if the spots are much darker as well. Having dismissed the possibility of M. maculosa because of its smaller flowering stem and rosette sizes, I think I can also eliminate M. variegata on the same grounds. The RHS Dictionary of Gardening gives M. variegata flower stems as 90-130cm (a maximum of just over 4 feet) it also states that hte fruit is 15-22mm in length and MUCH longer than broad.

On the other hand, the description given for M. virginica "flower stems 80-180cm (up to 6 feet) inflorescence about 30 flowered" and "fruit longer than broad" fits my plant very well indeed. It looks to me as if the amount of spotting in all the species can be quite variable for different clones, and it also seems that plants tend to be less spotted when young and more spotted when mature (my plant certainly was). I now have several hundred seeds to plant (from only 4 pods!) so it will be very interesting to see what variations appear in my seedlings!

I am now leaning heavily towards calling my plant just plain Manfreda virginica - the only fly in the ointment is that I only have written descriptions for 4 of the known 18 species mentioned in the RHS Dictionary and I would prefer to be able to definitively eliminate the remaining 14 species before going ahead and committing myself to Plant Files for posterity. LOL!

The actual distinctions botanists make between species ( to answer seedpickers question at the end of the last post) depend much more on things which don't change between members of a species than things which do: for example spots on a Manfreda are like hair colour on a human being, lots of different shades and patterns because it doesn't make much evolutionary difference to the individual's chance to survive and reproduce. On the other hand, things like length of leaves, shape and number of leaves, height of flower stem, size of flowers etc, are all critical survival factors for a plant and thus unlikely to become genetically changed while the plant lives in its natural surroundings and so these are the kinds of feature botanists rely on to tell species apart.

As an example of what I mean by this consider the height of a flower stalk. If a plant is pollinated by a large strong-flying insect like a sphinx moth it can have its flowers high in the air. If it is pollinated by a ground crawling creature the flowers will be low on the plant. Of course many species have multiple pollinators so the best answer for success in the long run is a compromise - high enough for some low enough for others - the final result will depend on which pollinators are available in a given location and how successfully individual plants can reproduce themselves as a result. In fact it wouldn't surprise me at all if my Manfreda species was pollinated by large moths in the wild as its flower has many of the characteristics typical of moth pollinated plants. Whatever does do it in nature though, it obviously doesn't live in Australia - even though my plant is self-fertile, it set no seed pods at all until I took matters in hand and pollinated it myself!

Here is the next photo in the sequence, taken on the 10 of October. It was probably about 6 foot to the start of the flower buds at this time. I had to tie it up once it started to get over the fence top as it was bending around in the wind rather alarmingly.

Edited to fix the credit for the Manfreda link given above.

This message was edited Jul 24, 2008 2:50 PM

How was the Mangave family created?

It was the mid-90s, and Hans Hansen was working as the Director of R&D at a micro-propagation lab in the USA. But, he wasn’t into succulents at all, his specialist subject was really quite different: he was managing 1000’s of new Hosta varieties into micro-propagation units. One prolific creator of new Hosta varieties was Tony Avent of Plant Delights Nursery in North Carolina. Yet, one day he turned up with with some Agave and Manfreda, and that’s when Hans breeding career changed forever!

A few years earlier, the state of Texas had accidentally become the original hotbed of new Agave breeding… Carl Shoenfeld of Yucca Do Nursery, a self-confessed succulent addict, was focussing on Manfreda, a quite unknown, strong, drought tolerant plant. Within the growing batch, one plant stood out, it was quicker growing and looked like a Dutchman in Tokyo! Carl scratched his head as to how this had happened, and finally sumised that this Manfeda had hybridised with a nearby Agave celsii! That was super exciting, and first time any such hybrid had been created, albeit by Mother Nature!

The first of the family, ‘Macho Mocha’, was released in the USA only, in 2004. And, the micro-propagation that multiplied the plant was headed up by Hans Hansen! He adored the plant, and was bitten by the Mangave bug, in fact he was even inspired to start his own breeding programme!

Hans, then working at Walters Gardens in Michigan, collected together as many Manfreda and Agave as he could, and had a lot of fun creating hybrids. He enlisted the help of botanical penpals to send Agave pollen, but time was of the essence, as it only stayed viable for 24 hours! UPS were busy during those few months!

What’s different about this plant?

Well, once that genetic key was unlocked, the Mangave family began to grow rapidly, thanks to Hans! The Manfreda genes brought speed and strong growth, annual blooming, and decorative dramatic markings. Agave gave their muscular structure, and border presence. The family grew exponentially, with most offspring different to their siblings. Some looked their father, some looked like their mother!

Where can you plant Mangave?

Not only is Mangave a real wow factor plant, but it also feels at home in all manner of landscapes. It pairs nicely with traditional perennials, ornamental grasses, conifers, rock garden plants, it can even be used as an indoor/conservatory plant! Plants are rapid growing, yet remarkably drought tolerant. Their popularity in xeriscape planting has exploded, in particular.

With over 24 varieties now available, they’ve become quite collectible too!

Where can you buy Mangave plants?

Plants are available at Crocus in the EU. You can also find a range of Mangave from an independent nursery in Norfolk too, visit the The Norfolk Olive Tree Company website for more details!

How to grow Mangave:

Plant of the Month is sponsored by Plantipp , a company based in The Netherlands who handle the introduction of new plants into Europe.

See every Plant of the Month here .

Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.

Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.

Навахо Принцесса Мангаве STARTER завод Агава / Манфреда Гибридный Большой пестрый сочные BRIGHT VARIEGATION!

Это завод STARTER завода Мангаве "Навахо Принцесса". Мангавы являются отличным гибридом заводов Agaves и Manfreda.

Это фантастические растения, потому что они имеют очень интересные формы и цвета, и быстро растет.

Это один из немногих пестрых мангав доступны. Это большое растение, и имеет фантастическую желтую пеструю.

Фотографии зрелого растения, чтобы показать вам, как это будет выглядеть. Эти стартовые растения варьируются в размерах от по крайней мере 2 "до 4" широкий или около того. Они быстро растут, так что это может быть немного больше!

Это растение в настоящее время в 3,25 "горшок, но будет поставляться голый корень.

Я также перечислил "пакеты" из этих мангав, так что вы получите лучшую цену, когда вы покупаете 5 или 10! Проверьте мои другие списки для них.

Все растения отправляются голые корень, если не у отмечалось. Если вам нужны тепловые пакеты, мы их в нашем магазине, просто добавить их в свой заказ. Тепловые пакеты $ 4 каждый. Это ответственность покупателя, чтобы сообщить нам, что они нуждаются в тепловой упаковке!

CrazyHCactus продает растения онлайн на протяжении более 20 лет, и имеет более 44K положительные отзывы на Ebay. Мы только сейчас начинаем перечислять элементы на Etsy, и есть много аккуратных растений, чтобы поделиться!

Watch the video: This is how I propagate my succulents exponentially. LP BITES

Previous Article

Choosing Tools For Kids: Child Sized Garden Tools For Pint-Sized Gardeners

Next Article

Pasque Flower Care: Learn About Pasque Flower Cultivation