Yucca For Form & Color

I always been a fan of yuccas and am most familiar with Yucca filamentosa which has a long history in our gardens.  While the green form has that nice rigid structure, called the “Southwest Look”, I prefer the variegated forms (like ‘Golden Sword’ above) for their contribution of color 365 days per year. Native to the Southeast United States, this broad-leaved, evergreen shrub (technically not a perennial) is also called Adam’s needle, Spanish bayonet and needle palm among other terms.  Yuccas are very drought tolerant and while they prefer full sun, they’ll take part sun and do well.  They don’t bloom every year but when they do (see below), the huge, dangling white blossoms are on 3′-8′ stems hovering over the plant.  They are notoriously hard to relocate and eliminate from the garden as they have quite a root system.  We tried to remove some of the green leaf forms years ago and they keep sprouting from some remnant of that deep root system!  The flowers are gorgeous and I love to see those giant stalks of floating flowers which really glow at dusk as well.
Today was beautiful with sunshine and temperatures in the 50 degrees F which is perfect.  Tomorrow is our big Spring Symposium and we’re getting ready for a good sized crowd and a great day.  It was busy out in the gardens with Cheryl D., Kathy P, Pat M., Bill O. and Jenny E. all working on garden clean-up.  We continue to see our earliest spring bulbs blooming out in the gardens with more poised and ready for more warmth.  Maury ran an errand for us and Dr. Yahr stopped by as well.  In the office, Pat R., Pat C. and Kay all worked on processing vegetable labels for the Spring Plant Sale.  Patrea and Janice worked on a presentation as well.  Check out www.rotarybotanicalgardens.org for more information on specific vegetable varieties.  We’ll also have a wide assortment of herbs, perennials, shrubs and other goodies at this exciting fundraising event.  Janice stopped by with students from Shepherds College (Union Grove, WI).  The students brought some wonderful plants for the symposium and have historically helped out in the gardens as well.  Bob K. and Dick H. did some afternoon work around the shop as well.
‘Color Guard’ above and below

 ‘Bright Edge’ (above and below)

 above is the standard green form
 the blossoms (above and many below…)

‘Bright Edge’ above

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