urban eden's plant rant


Beschorneria yuccoides

(Quite a mouthful, I know!)

I have a big soft spot for this plant. Native to Mexico, it is in the Agave family so is tough as nails, drought-tolerant and all that good stuff. But unlike most Agaves, it is soft and pliable (graceful, even) and not thorny. Its foliage has a silvery sheen, not unlike Agave attenuata. Also like A. attenuata, it is a great plant to use for "tropical effect" in areas (such as the Bay Area) that are distinctly not tropical. It has a basal growth habit, meaning that it doesn't trunk and stays close to the ground.

I have used this plant in many gardens, juxtaposing it with softer grasses or using it as a low-growing contrast to a 5-foot Leucadendron. Like most plants I use, I do it primarily for the foliage. In fact, to be honest I hadn't seen it bloom in real-life until quite recently. I knew from the descriptions that the flower is pretty spectacular (and one of my favorite garden hues, coral), but all that was secondary to me.

And then, in the spectacular planting outside this company's showroom, I saw this:

And the deal was sealed.