Have you ever been to the American Southwest? Say, New Mexico? If so, the chances are that you’ve seen the yucca plant. That’s because the yucca plant is the official state flower of New Mexico. It is grown naturally in the hot, desert climate and known as “Lamparas de Dios,” which translates from Spanish to “Lamps of the Lord.”
The yucca plant (yucca glauca) was formally adopted as the New Mexico state flower in 1927 after school children petitioned the government for the change. It is a member of the lily family. At times, the yucca can grow to the height of a small tree.
The yucca has been used for centuries by American Indian tribes. The yucca plant is an important resource, used in basket-making and for soap or shampoo. But perhaps more importantly, the yucca plant is used as decoration in gardens and as FloralArt®. It has a distinctive bright mass of white flowers that protrude from a center stalk within the plant – “Lamparas de Dios” – and gardeners for decades have used the yucca in creative and attractive displays.
The yucca plant has a distinctive cornucopia of blossoms that can become a showpiece for any garden display. It can also become a popular accent plant to highlight other shrubs, plants or trees. The yucca plant is best suited for hot, dry environments. Artificial yucca plants can be shown in any environment regardless of temperature, water supply, sunlight, soil or environment.
The yucca’s showy bell-shaped flowers hang in loose clusters from a central stalk. This stalk can grow up to 12 feet tall. Flowers have six white tepals and male and female reproductive organs, but cross pollination is required for fruit production. The yucca plant dies after flowering and fruiting, but produces offshoots that develop into new plants at the base of the plant.
The yucca plant has an interesting mix of delicate white flowers with a base of sharp, sword-like blades of deep, dark green leaves.
Because of its unique shape, colors and the strong Southwest metaphors it can provoke, many interior decorators and plantscapers use the yucca plant as FloralArt®. It is a popular ornamental plant, both exterior and interior, in a potted variety or in a garden setting.
However, remember, the yucca plant is poisonous to rabbits. Artificial yucca plants are not. Consider this fact if using the yucca plant as FloralArt® in an outdoor environment.
The yucca plant is distinctive in shape and beloved by many. Consider trying something new and different when planning which next plant to purchase.