The “joe hoak” is one of the prettiest and expensive Agave and is much
nicer than the photo can show. Very desirable because of the beautifully
variegated foliage in soft yellows, cream and green.
Large plants are extremely ornamental.
Description: Agave desmetiana (a.k.a. Smooth agave) is a
suckering succulent that forms an upright urn-shaped rosette up to 60 cm
tall by 90 cm wide. It is quick growing and often produces many offsets.
Leaves: Graceful up to 50 cm long, soft, almost rubbery which
curve upward and then out, the leaves of the cv. 'Joe Hoak' are
striated with pale grey-green and cream and have a strong green margin
on the lower half of the leaf. The small well spaced marginal spines are
pliant and for the most part no dangerous (but the 1,5 cm terminal
spines can be quite stinging), they are reddish brown.
Flowers: Pale yellow flowers, organized in a 2,5 to 3 tall
panicle. They come generally on plants older than 8 years.
Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and
cultivars of Agave desmetiana:
Scientific Name: Agave desmetiana hort. ex Baker (1877)
(nom. illeg.. Art. 53.1
CV. JOE HOAK
The 'Joe Hoak' is a nursery
produced cultivar, the standard A.
found in cultivation only, its ancestors maybe from Sinaloa (Mexico),
maybe from Cuba
specific epithet honors Louis De Smet (1813-1887), a
Belgian horticulturist and nurseryman - this is sometimes misspelled as
The origins of this plant is uncertain. It is supposed that it
came from Joe Hoak of Hoak's Nursery in Miami, Florida. It is sometimes
listed as Agave meridensis variegata 'Joe Hoak'
or A. mendensis (perhaps referring to the city of Merida
on the Yucatan Peninsula).
The graceful curve to the leaf has led some to believe that this plant
is a hybrid or sport of Agave desmetiana ( it looks very
similar to shape and grows similar, suckering closely just like A
desmettiana) .. but the leaf quality and colour is different.
Believed to be either an albino looking sport or a hybrid. It has almost
rubbery leaves which curve upward and then out, with light green and
cream variegation, very attractive when older.
"JOE HOAK" is a relatively easy-to-grow species. Seems
pretty wimpy in hot, blazing sun, but does great in partial sun to
shade. It is relatively cold sensitive for an Agave, Just a light freeze
(-2° C) for an extended period can burn some leaves (but can survive to
at least – 6°, particularly when dry,
even though portion of a mature plant can ‘melt’)... but it's too
beautiful to risk not covering it on cold nights.
Need a very well-drained, soil. It grows fairly
fast in summer if provided with copious water but allows to dry
thoroughly before watering again (the more water and fertilizer this
plant gets the faster it will grow). During the winter months, one
should only water enough to keep the leaves from shrivelling.
It does great in containers or in the ground. Plants cultivated outdoors
are more drought tolerant and can take some heat and full sun. Winter
storms and rain can damage the outdoor plants (A physiological condition
called edema or oedema)
Remove suckers to show of the beauty and form of the individual rosette.
Propagation: Exclusively by
suckers which often are found growing around the base of the
plant, Remove the basal suckers (if available) in spring or summer
and let the cuttings dry for a few days before inserting in compost. It
may also propagate by bulbils found on the floral stalk.