I told you about the two Yucca rostratas blooming I saw when I was driving to Marble Falls to give a presentation (“Yuccas and Surprises on the Trip to Marble Falls,” June 22, 2023), I realized that I actually have a Yucca rostrata and didn’t know it! I commented that it must not be old enough to bloom yet and would have to wait patiently till it did bloom to be able to positively identify it.

Well, that was a year ago, and guess what? Now in 2024 it apparently is old enough to bloom! What a deal!

Yucca rostrata, commonly called beaked yucca, is native to the Big Bend area in West Texas, and Chihuahua and Coahuila in Mexico. It is one of the hardiest trunk-forming yuccas even though it is native to much warmer climates than my zone 6 and can be grown successfully even in zone 5, which is considerably colder. Perhaps our colder weather is what has kept mine from blooming till now; I don’t know, but I wonder if it will bloom again next year, now that it has done it once. Over time it will grow to be much taller than it is now, but that will take a while.

Because it has many flowers rather than one single bloom, it is called an inflorescence on a large panicle. An inflorescence is a cluster of flowers arranged on a stem, and that stem is called a panicle. All yuccas bloom an inflorescence, but this one’s group of flowers are on longer stems and make a fuller, different shaped inflorescence than most other yuccas, which makes it stand out. At least it did for me.

I walked by it in the garden one day in early May and realized it was making a bud!  I took this picture on May 9.

After that I checked it almost daily to see how it was coming along.

Finally, by June 6, it was fully opened. This one’s inflorescence is not exactly the same shape as the ones I saw In Sterling City and San Angelo, but it has to be the same plant. I would think the difference has to do with variation in the species. Or it may be a slightly different species, but until I am told otherwise, I will happily call it a rostrata.

By June 15, the flowers were falling off and the end was near for the blooming season.

But what a treat for me to have it bloom! I look forward to next year to see what it will do then.