Manfreda undulata (Klotzsch) Rose
Agave undulata (basionym), Agave drimiifolia
Manfreda undulata it is a small, low-growing plant, forming a rosette up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall and up to 2 feet (60 cm) wide. Long, silvery blue-green leaves are succulent, but not as rigid as Agave. Manfredas typically flower annually once they are mature and unlike Agaves, they do not die after they bloom. The bloom spike can reach up to 8 feet (2.4 m) with interesting burgundy brown flowers.
USDA hardiness zone 7a to 11b: from 0 °F (−17.8 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Manfreda is a tender perennial or "temperennial" succulent plant that grows best in full sun. Plant in well-drained, dry to average soil in containers just slightly wider than the width of the rosette or plant directly in the ground. Since the plant has a rather large root system, the container should be at least 12 inches (30 cm) deep. Manfreda is a slower grower, so it will not quickly overtake the space it is allotted in the landscape.
In summer when the plants are actively growing, they appreciate a bit of supplemental watering and half-strength fertilizer. During the winter months, the plants should be allowed to dry and should be stored in a cold room at 48 °F (9 °C). Plants are watered only enough to keep the foliage from shriveling.
Manfredas are propagated by the removal of offsets and from fresh seed. Fresh seed germinate in 7 to 21 days at 68 to 72 °F (19 to 22 °C)… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Manfreda
Manfreda undulata is described in 1840 from specimens grown in a garden in Germany. Never found in the wild, so probably extinct.
Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids
- Manfreda undulata 'Cherry Chocolate Chip'
- Manfreda undulata 'Chocolate Chips'
- Manfreda undulata 'Mint Chocolate Chip'
- Back to genus Manfreda
- Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
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Types of Manfreda
There are over two dozen types of Manfreda succulents in the wild, 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 and slightly arching to almost curled and ruffled. Some excellent hybrids available are:
- 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 this plant 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, use reputable growers to source these amazing plants.
Manfreda Undulata Guide: How to Grow & Care for “Mint Chocolate Chip Plant”
Are you looking for a nice and low-maintenance succulent plant that can make an exotic addition to your indoor plant collection, your rock garden, or to an eclectic interior design? You cannot go wrong with Manfreda Undulata a.k.a. the Chocolate Chip Plant. This plant has mesmerizing and unique foliage which makes it a focal point in any plant collection, big or small.
Manfreda belongs to a group with at least 30 species of succulent herbs of the Asparagaceae family. Their placement in the classification structures of botanists is ever-changing. Most recently, some taxonomists have moved these plants to the genus Agave, but still, others keep them separate. Together with Polianthes, they are commonly called tuberoses.
Manfreda undulata, commonly named Chocolate Chip Plant or False Agave, is native to the southwestern U.S., Mexico, and Central America. The generic name honors 14th-century Italian botanist and medical writer Manfredus de Monte Imperiale.