Mangave "Mission to Mars" aka "The Shambling Mound"
Most of the references online list Mangave "Mission to Mars" as measuring in at the relatively tame size of 1 foot tall by 1 to 2 feet wide. The reality is different - at least in my yard. What started out as a cute plant maybe measuring 10 inches wide has grown into a monster at least 3-4 feet wide and tall.
|The amorphous form of "Mission to Mars"|
Over the last year or two it has become hard to describe it's shape - or maybe even where it begins or ends as it's sprouted several large pups. It's long leaves tend to twist and turn in every direction.
While I'd still consider it an interesting (and beautiful) plant, it's size and finely serrated leaf margins make it a bad choice near paths. Mine of course is planted along a path.
|"Mission to Mars" flower stalks|
When I saw the flower stalk emerging last week I was surprised. I was even more surprised when I saw 2 more emerging from it's offsets. That's right - the parent plant and the pups are blooming at the same time. Weird.
|Flower Stalk Close up|
The flower stalks have an other-worldly quality. The purple freckles look like they could have been splattered on by a water colorist.
I'm guessing by their size after a week+ that these stalks will grow quite tall. I don't know what to expect as the parentage is just described as 'complex'. This is a hybrid with several Agave and Manfreda parents. As usual San Marcos Growers does the best job providing details - Managave Mission to Mars
Updates to follow once the flower stalk has grown.
|Early June, 2021|
The flower stalk in the above picture is about 10 feet.