Highland Park residents say goodbye to a prickly problem named Stabitha

Stabitha in full, pointy glory. Photo by Toban Nichols

Artist Toban Nichols and his husband Jonathan Schneiderman don’t really need to bother giving out the address to their Highland Park home. Just drive up Monte Vista Terrace and look for the giant agave they call Stabitha (“Stabitha Tenticle Clawhand” to be exact).  The agave was planted five years ago by the home’s owner and it has steadily increased in size, attracting attention and scratching the skin and tearing the clothing of passerby who may have gotten t0o close.  But now Stabitha is getting cut down to size and being hauled off. A gardener, who started the job today, is expected to finish Stabitha off on Friday. Said Toban:

It’s being taken down tomorrow because the plant has grown too big, too sick, and also starting to lean out into the sidewalk a little too much for safety. Our gardener today cut several pieces off the plant to lighten it up and is coming back tomorrow morning at 9 to take it down completely ..

If you can’t pay  your last respects to Stabitha in person, Toban is taking photos and posting them on his Facebook page.


  1. I can understand that someone would want to cut it back from the sidewalk, but it doesn’t look THAT sick.
    I guess it was looking too alive, and wasn’t fulfilling it’s duty as an almost inanimate object to decorate the yard.

  2. Sick? What’s wrong with it? From the pics it looks like maybe an aphid infestation. However, that’s not really all that serious. Just cut off the stabby points with sharp garden shears.

  3. The photo above is an old one, when it wasn’t sick at all. It looked amazing and gorgeous. Now it’s slumped over and almost laying out into the street from the weight. Also, the leaves are rotting and looking pretty bad and unhealthy. THAT’s why it has to be taken out. It’s on it’s last legs. You’re welcome to come by our house and take a look before passing judgement.

  4. beautiful!

  5. That being an old photo explains why I was confused about its condition.

  6. Neat plant! Wrong spot…

  7. I live around the corner and have always admired Stabitha. Sorry to see her go, but I understand the decision.

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