Plant of the Month
Photos: Rachel Cobb
Common Name: Beaked Yucca, Big Bend Yucca
Origin: Native to West Texas and northern Mexico
Features/Uses: The thin, evergreen, grey-green leaves are arranged in a striking, fine-textured, spherical form. Dramatic clusters of white flowers tower over the leaves. Larger specimens with trunks and branches lend classic “southwest” character to landscapes. Although the leaf tips are slightly spiky they is much less so than almost all western yuccas.
Use in combination with other low water plants like manzanita, rosemary, oleander, Tecoma, juniper, and low water aloes, succulents, perennials, and annuals. Because of their cold tolerance Beaked yuccas can be grown in most of San Diego County.
Growth Habit: Beaked Yucca can slowly grow up to 10 ft. tall with a woody trunk, small plants will remain less than 3’ for a number of years.
Bloom Time: Spring to early summer - April to June, depending on elevation
Cultural Requirements:Well-drained soils are needed along with a warm, sunny site. The plants are cold hardy to -10 F if the soils are not too wet and soggy. Like their agave relatives yuccas are very drought tolerant. Yuccas that are well established generally should be watered once every month or two during the summer months. They should be watered more often if they are more recently planted or if faster growth is desired. The local native yuccas, Mohave Yucca (Yucca schidigera) and Candle of Our Lord (Hesperoyucca whipplei), require no supplemental water once they are established.
Where at SDBG: New World Desert, Hamilton Children’s Garden, Entrance Drive, California Gardenscapes, Quail Gardens Drive