AGAVE PARRYI VAR. PARRYI, with black awl-shaped spines at ends of pudgy gray leaves, can take the cold of Zone 7—it is native to the Chihuahuan desert. A slow grower to 30 inches in diameter, then after 25 to 35 years it sends up an elegant tree-like flower stalk.
 MATUCANA INTERTEXTA is a small globular cactus from Peru, with starry red flowers in spring. Grown outdoors at the Huntington, but is best as a pot plant. It does better in a coastal environment with cooler summers.