Y as in Yucca

Y as in Yucca. Blogging from A to Z April (2015) Challenge | My Green Nook Family: Asparagaceae

Genus: Yucca

Species: Yucca filamentosa

Common names: spoonleaf yucca, filament yucca, Adam’s needle Swedish name: fiberpalmlilja

Yucca is a genus of 40-50 species of perennial shrubs and trees native to the hot and dry (arid) parts of North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. They grow in rosettes of evergreen, tough, sword-shaped leaves and produce large terminal panicles of white or whitish flowers. Some species have stems (tree-form) on which the old dry leaves are collected to protect it from the heat and water loss. They frequently store water in their thick roots. The channeled leaves of a yucca direct dew and rainfall water to their roots. Yuccas are among the first plants re-colonizing after wildfires. They have a very specialized, mutualistic pollination system, being pollinated by yucca moths (family Prodoxidae).

Yuccas are widely grown as ornamental plants in gardens. Popular as architectural plants providing a dramatic accent to landscape design. Many species also bear edible parts, including fruits, seeds, flowers, flowering stems and more rarely roots. Yucca filamentosa is native to the southeastern US. And is one species I know to be grown outdoors as a perennial in the southern parts of Sweden.

Yucca filamentosa - Adam´s needle. Y as in Yucca. Blogging from A to Z April (2015) Challenge | My Green Nook

Yucca filamentosa – Adam´s needle. Photo: Carl Lewis ©

Description: Yucca filamentosa is a usually stemless evergreen shrub with blue-green, elongated leaves with thread-like filaments along the leaf margins. The nodding bell-shaped creamy white flowers grow on up to 3 meter tall stems in long terminal panicles. They bloom in summer. It creates suckers which sustain the growth. Y. filamentosa is widely cultivated in mild temperate and subtropical climates as a broad-leaved evergreen plant. Some cultivated varieties are ‘Bright Edge’, ‘Ivory Tower’ and ‘Color Guard’. They attract butterflies.

How to grow: Yucca filamentosa is fully hardy, though in cultivation it benefits from a sheltered position away from winter winds and moist. It thrives in well-drained, dry and warm sandy soils in full sun. But it tolerates partial shade. It is suitable as a solitaire in the rock or gravel garden or in mixed boarders surrounded with lower plants. It can also be grown in container but then it needs winter storage in shelter from frost. The leaf rosettes wither after the bloom and make room for the suckers. Remove spent flowering stems. Overall it needs low maintenance. Propagation by seed or rooted suckers.

Garden design part II – Choice of Plants

As you may have noticed there are some descriptions of the plants that repeat in my posts. Like solitaire, ground-cover and so on. This is one way to divide plants in when you are about to arrange a flower bed. These characteristics tell use something about how the plants grow and is vital to the composition. You may use several groups or pick a few depending on the purpose and look you strive for.

Garden Design part II. Y as in Yucca. Blogging from A to Z April (2015) Challenge | My Green Nook

Weaver, Group Builder, Ground-Covering, Pop-Up.
Photo credits in the end of the post ©


Are plants with a striking feature often tall and architectural. They draw the attention and speak with capitals. They are standing by themself or in smaller groups, often of three plants.

  • Yucca filamentosa – Adam´s needle
  • Some species of Miscanthus sinensis – Ornamental grass
  • Topairy shaped plants or Bonsai


Are airy, delicate, cloud-like plants which gently weaves themself in among other plants. Holding together and softening the structure of the garden bed.

  • Thalictrum delavayi – Chinese meadow rue
  • Knautia macedonica – Macedonian Scabious
  • Gaura lindheimeri – Indian Feather

Group builders/colonizers:

Are often growing in rosettes or bouquet-like shapes holding together as a group. Some may slowly spread by creating new groups and become colonizers.

  • Echinacea purpurea – purple coneflower
  • Hemerocallisday-lilies
  • Lavandula angustifolia – lavender


Rugs or matt-like spreading plants preferably quite dense. Most are low, some are evergreen with no showy flowers which can have its advantages.

  • Vinca minordwarf periwinkle
  • Asarum europaeum – European wild ginger
  • Galium odoratum – ssweet-scented bedstraw
  • Some species of Geranium – cranesbill
  • Most species of Thymus – thyme (for example Thymus serpyllum)

Pop-up plants:

Often biennial or plants moderately spread by seed popping up here and there making the garden bed dynamic and shifting over time.

  • Verbascum thapsus – great mullein
  • Angelica gigas – purple parsnip

Did you miss Garden design part I? No worries, here it comes:
How to arrange a flower bed

Garden Relax. Y as in Yucca. Blogging from A to Z April (2015) Challenge | My Green Nook

Do not forget to relax and enjoy your garden.

© The photos are licensed by Creative Commons and some rights are reserved. License Attribution 2.0. Photo credits as follows:

9 thoughts on “Y as in Yucca

  1. Wow … beautiful! They are so dramatic! I love that butterflies like them. I have two goals for planting my area … to feed us or attract & feed pollinators. So this one would feed pollinators, for sure, and perhaps us as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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