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Yucca whipplei

Common Name:
Lord's candle
Plant Type:
Evergreen perennial
Agavaceae (The Agave Family)
Geographic Origin:
California Native?:
Plant Size:
To 10 feet+
Landscape/Garden Uses:
Mixed plantings
Flowering Season:
Flower Color:
Sun or light shade
Well-drained soil
Suggested Irrigation:
Moderate to no watering
Estimated Hardiness:
Hardy to 10 degrees F. or less
This spectacular California native is a dangerous neighbor, particularly for small children, and it is best placed on banks and walls out of the line of traffic. It makes crowns of stout, viciously pointed, pale green to silvery grey leaves up to 2 feet long. From the crown, after several years, issues a stalk resembling a giant asparagus spear, rising as much as 10 feet. This develops into a many-branched panicle of large white bells. The effect is stunning. If offsets have been produced by flowering time, they take over the task of perpetuating the plant as the old crown dies. Otherwise, it is time to plant a new one. Best with full exposure, any reasonably well drained soil, and moderate to only occasional watering. Hardy to 10 degrees F or less.