Friday, July 2, 2010

blooming, an unexpected gift

Jed and I both have a love for the desert and the beautiful plants that you find therein. When we were planning our yard and on the hunt for plants to nurture and enjoy, we knew that we had to have Yuccas.

Who would've thought that there are around 40 varieties throughout the US and Mexico? I always thought that a Yucca was a Yucca.

Some varieties were easy for us to find at the local nurseries.
(ie the Ivory Tower Yucca, Harriman Yucca, and the Navajo Yucca). I honestly do not know for sure if these are the varieties in our yard, but they look like them.

The one variety that stumped us in our search, and of course was Jed's top pick, was the
Banana Yucca. Or for those that care about the scientific name, Yucca Baccata.

For being a native variety, we could not find it anywhere.
It has a much more stately appearance than most Yuccas that you see locally. It has broader leaves that are more firm and pointy. It also has a more gray/blue-green color. It supposedly gets its name from the banana like fruit that it can develop which apparently tastes like sweet potatoes-hmmm.

Anyways, we were finally able to find our treasured Yucca in our favorite little Southern Utah nursery, a few years back. Jed payed a pretty penny for that plant!

We have watched it slowly grow. It hasn't taken off as fast as our other varieties, but we knew that it would one day.
This year, we again thought, is it going to do anything? We wanted to see more growth and maybe a bloom. But as spring began to close, no such luck.
Then, we noticed something fantastic occurring. It was growing a bloom!!!

You never saw a family so excited about a plant in your life, at least we'd like to think so. And it delivered, what a beauty!

It fascinates me how the blooms are more nestled into the base of the plant. Other varieties let them shoot up and tower above the plant. This variety reminds me of a wall of spikes surrounding an army, defending it from the unknown.

I love how it's leaves have a hairy-like curling on them. It makes them seem a little more delicate but also more threatening, like barbed wire on a fence.

And the blooms, of course, are gorgeous. As all Yucca blooms are.

Another variety that we purchased at the same fave nursery was our Red Yucca (not technically a Yucca). We never thought it would do well. Even now the base looks so limp and delicate, but it decided to bloom as well!

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