A Week in the Life of a Yucca

Never mind, it took 3 weeks for all this. Time flies!

One of my favorite skyline accent plants is right off my tiny patio, and it bloomed for the first time in at least two years.

Photos from 3/30 to 4/18/2015 –

3/30 – Torrey Yucca / Yucca torreyi
talk about exotic…so rich…take that, crepe myrtles!
3/31 – unfurling
to think we grow this stuff so effortlessly

That’s an all-too-common sky, until recently. I know, no pity for the other 85% of the time, or our temperatures at least 85% of the time.

without pucture wounds, I measured this flower stalk just under 36″ tall (36″ sounds more impressive than 3′)

Maybe it paid off, to dump my mop water at the base of this clump every couple weeks? Or a (finally) winter with decent moisture? Maybe combined it help develop this display.

4/7 – uh oh, top-heavy

The flopping over certainly hasn’t been from our spring winds. I think 2015 has been the most mellow for wind and sand storms I may have seen in 23 years, in the region known for free tooth cleanings many spring afternoons. While most of you are getting verdant…

falling over, or just groovin’?
4/12 – clouds back, flowers fading
back to the dust
adios, until next spring…and hola, cobalt blue sky

It’s not like yuccas are lame, like bradford pears and russian sage are.

But seeing our everyday yuccas soar into the sky, then add flowers, helps take the blahs of ordinary from the high desert.

Does anything in the plant world do that same thing for you?

7 Replies to “A Week in the Life of a Yucca”

  1. The way Yucca bloom–quickly–surprises me a bit, after the year-long process of an Agave. Memorable, though.

    That’s true, it happens fast…even faster with smaller yuccas…and I know what projects I have to go by next…


  2. Fleeting beauty from tough plants. The dance sequence was fun. This has been a good year for blooms, especially natives. The yucca have been amazing and I enjoy seeing our small native cacti grow bright blooms. A massive 10′ A. americana is blooming and I’m thinking 30′, or is that 360″.

    A city park naturalist stated in a recent lecture that we should quit planting crape myrtle and the crowd of knowledgeable gardeners gasped.

    It’s like at least the part of Texas between I-35 and El Paso has gotten a brief reprieve in the drought with this year’s green-up / flowering. I’ll have to check out your blog on your blooms… 30′ sounds better…something about adding another digit to “3”, that impresses. Good for that naturalist, with all the natives you have that need to be emphasized more.


  3. Just groovin’ those yucca are, and who could blame them once such gorgeous bloom stalks are out for all to see!

    Your comment about taking a photo from the same point each day reminded me of those old Disney films, like The Living Desert where as a youngster I watched stop-action photography documenting the unfurling of a night blooming flower for the very first time. It was absolutely intoxicating and I was hooked on growing things at that very moment.

    It’s like their big spring premeire, before the hot weather then another rainy season returns.

    Interesting on that film, as I heard someone tell me of that. But I missed the part you mention, which inspired you so much – I bet it was a Night-blooming Cereus, Peniocereus greggii! Tohono Chul in Tucson actually has an annual evening celebration when they bloom.


  4. Age 17, home on college break, I stood in front of dad’s tall yucca at the side of the house. Deemed it needed one of my newly learned karate kicks.

    Over it toppled, all 6′ of it, from the base.

    Just damn.

    Garden & Be Well, XOT

    I normally might not laugh at such yuc-ca-rnage, but the image of you (former engineer) and karate with a yucca is hilarious. I can actually picture that!


  5. I’ve always admired yucca blooms but these are magnificent! Thank you for following them over time; it was way cool. Groovin’ yuccas are desert dancing!

    The mop water did pay off! To think some don’t see anything enviable or at least fun about desert plants…


  6. Thanks for posting this series of pictures of the growth of the Yucca flowers. I loved that closeup of the flower unfurling from 3/31. And the two plants bent over — they look like they’re dancing.

    Glad you like. If only I would have taken photos at the same vantage point each day, but I didn’t think of that… I thought about the dancing look at the end, too!


  7. Wow oh wow, what a treat. I have never seen the pink blooms on a yucca. The lush beautiful flowers contrast with he spikes of the leaves is so striking. I am happy it is so close and you can enjoy it!

    I first noticed them on another, smaller broad-leafed yucca, since then I’ve been hooked. And lush flowers…what a contrast to our dehydrated spring. Reaching for the lip balm again…


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