Virtues: A shrubby succulent plant, it tolerates drought and has a wide hardiness range. Its architectural form makes a good focal point, though it can also be blended into a mixed planting. Tall flower spikes appear in mid- and late summer, just when floral interest is needed.
Plant name: Adam’s needle
Botanical name: Yucca filamentosa
Foliage: Evergreen. Stiff, long and narrow, with pointed tips. Leaves are usually green or bluish green, but several cultivars have variegated leaves: ‘Bright Edge’ has yellow stripes; ‘Color Guard’ has a yellow central band and red winter highlights; ‘Variegata’ is bordered in white.
Flowers: A tall (to 8 feet) spike emerges from the middle of the plant in mid- to late summer, topped with numerous bell-shaped creamy white flowers.
Habit: A clump-forming rosette. Grows 2.5 feet tall and 5 feet wide.
Origin: Southeast United States.
Cultivation: Prefers full sun and moist soil but will tolerate shade, extended drought, high heat, poor soil, winter salt spray and other harsh conditions. Will not bloom in the shade. Will not tolerate continually wet soil. Cut flowering stalk at ground level after bloom. USDA Zones 4–11.
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