AGAVACEAE, The Agave family (sometimes considered part of the Lily family)
This plant was listed in a recent article about an English gardening expo as one of the hottest new plants. It is indeed really neat. The leaves are much wider than those of the more common spike plant, or even the magenta or striped tropical ti plants. They are variegated in shades of purple, maroon, green and cream. It can grow in sun to part shade. Reaching only about 18 inches tall, it is perfect for containers. It’s only hardy in zones 10 to 11, but can be grown as a annual or a house plant.
I had fun making planters for autumn at work today. One that I made had the ti plant with ‘Toffee Twist’ sedge, orange and purple heucheras, Autumn fern, purple kale and ‘Blackie’ sweet potato vine in a rust-red stoneware urn.
Another combination, in a low rustic stoneware pot, centered around Aster latifolius ‘Lady in Black’, a sprawling, brittle, multi-hued beauty, with a silver plant in the aster family that my co-worker Kimberly likes, Calocephalus brownii, (Cushion bush), Fancy black kale and Dichronda ‘Silver Falls.’