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Yucca desmetiana

By Adam Black
Another highlight in our nursery inventory and our plant of the month, is a regularly asked- about specimen on our Peckerwood Garden tours. This distinctive and mysterious yucca is unlike any other, with a lot of conflicting information surrounding its true identity.
Originally described in 1870 from a cultivated plant, more recently folks have suggested it could be a hybrid of natural or garden origin, but it may be a naturally occurring species – I don’t know if anyone really knows for sure.
They can be seen growing staked for vertical growth near the Pool Plaza.
Yucca desmetiana may want to creep along the ground when the stems get too long_ or they can be staked up.
Yucca desmetiana  may want to creep along the ground when the stems get too long, or they can be staked up.
Adding to the confusion are a variety of names it has been offered under in cultivation, including Yucca x desmetiana (reflecting the hybrid theory), Yucca aloifolia ‘Purpurea,’ Y ucca samuelii, and cultivar names including ‘Blue Boy’ and ‘Spellbound,’ all appearing to be the same plant. Though there are reports of it flowering in cultivation, I can’t find any photos, and to my knowledge it has never flowered here. Its chalky blue-green foliage displays purple blush on the new foliage, which intensifies after some winter chilling. Unlike many other species, this yucca has soft rubbery leaves that won’t result in loss of blood. A smaller-statured species, it starts with an erect stem that will produce a cluster of additional stems from the base, but with poor structural integrity it will eventually start leaning under its own weight and soon be scrambling in a twisting manner along the ground, which can create an interesting effect spilling over rocks, especially when it produces multiple stems. John made an interesting grouping of them near the pool plaza where they are staked up, but when they get too tall and lanky for his liking they get cut back to allow new stems to take their place. It is also great for containers, and maybe even a large hanging basket when it starts creeping around.
Its main requirements is sun to partial shade in well-draining soil. It easily tolerates our region’s extremes of heat and cold without any issues. Come purchase one from our nursery while they last.
The chill-intensified purple blush that fades somewhat when the temperatures warm.
The chill-intensified purple blush that fades somewhat when the temperatures warm.

Evening at Peckerwood Garden Lecture

In our continuing effort to make Peckerwood Garden a publicly-accessible resource for education and enjoyment, we are proud to introduce a monthly program of evening lectures conducted by knowledgeable staff and friends of Peckerwood as well as local or visiting experts. Topics will include various aspects of horticulture, botany, garden design, plant collecting adventures, conservation and many other related fields of interest. During summer and early fall, evening light permitting, the nursery will be open just prior to the lecture, 6:30 pm – 7:00 pm. Light refreshments will be provided. Unless otherwise noted, presentations will be held indoors.

Attendance is limited so advance reservations are necessary.

Members $5

Non-Members $10


All presenters are currently lecturing pro-bono but we are seeking donations/sponsors to allow us to bring in renowned authorities from afar in the near future.

“Plant Conservation and Research at the National Tropical Botanical Garden”: Evening at Peckerwood Garden Lecture

Charles R. “Chipper” Wichman, Jr. will present at the Evening at Peckerwood Lecture: “Plant Conservation and Research at the National Tropical Botanical Garden”

In our continuing effort to make Peckerwood Garden a publicly-accessible resource for education and enjoyment, we are proud to introduce a monthly program of evening lectures conducted by knowledgeable staff and friends of Peckerwood as well as local or visiting experts. Topics will include various aspects of horticulture, botany, garden design, plant collecting adventures, conservation and many other related fields of interest. During summer and early fall, evening light permitting, the nursery will be open just prior to the lecture, 6:30 pm – 7:00 pm. Light refreshments will be provided. Unless otherwise noted, presentations will be held indoors.

Attendance is limited so advance reservations are necessary.

Members $5

Non-Members $10


All presenters are currently lecturing pro-bono but we are seeking donations/sponsors to allow us to bring in renowned authorities from afar in the near future.

Native Plants at Peckerwood Garden: Evening at Peckerwood Garden Lecture

Join us and Adam Black to learn about Native Plants at Peckerwood Garden.

In our continuing effort to make Peckerwood Garden a publicly-accessible resource for education and enjoyment, we are proud to introduce a monthly program of evening lectures conducted by knowledgeable staff and friends of Peckerwood as well as local or visiting experts. Topics will include various aspects of horticulture, botany, garden design, plant collecting adventures, conservation and many other related fields of interest. During summer and early fall, evening light permitting, the nursery will be open just prior to the lecture, 6:30 pm – 7:00 pm. Light refreshments will be provided. Unless otherwise noted, presentations will be held indoors.

Attendance is limited so advance reservations are necessary.

Members $5

Non-Members $10


All presenters are currently lecturing pro-bono but we are seeking donations/sponsors to allow us to bring in renowned authorities from afar in the near future.

Evening at Peckerwood Garden Lecture

In our continuing effort to make Peckerwood Garden a publicly-accessible resource for education and enjoyment, we are proud to introduce a monthly program of evening lectures conducted by knowledgeable staff and friends of Peckerwood as well as local or visiting experts. Topics will include various aspects of horticulture, botany, garden design, plant collecting adventures, conservation and many other related fields of interest. During summer and early fall, evening light permitting, the nursery will be open just prior to the lecture, 6:30 pm – 7:00 pm. Light refreshments will be provided. Unless otherwise noted, presentations will be held indoors.

Attendance is limited so advance reservations are necessary.

Members $5

Non-Members $10

March 17
Chad Husby will present at the Evening at Peckerwood Lecture: “Exploring the Spice Islands in the footsteps of David Fairchild”

This talk will feature highlights of an 11-day expedition in the Moluccas (Spice Islands) organized by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in October 2016, retracing part of the last great plant collecting expedition of Dr. David Fairchild aboard the junk Cheng Ho in 1939 and 1940.  The talk will feature the islands visited, natural wonders, plant highlights, people, and history.

Chad Husby, Ph.D. is Fairchild’s Botanical Horticulturist.  His work focuses on international plant exploration to enhance the Garden’s collections and to find worthy new plants to share with the public.  In addition, he collaborates with the science and education programs at the Garden.  He received his undergraduate degree from Alma College, a Master of Applied Statistics from Ohio State University, a Master’s in Horticulture from Virginia Tech and Ph.D. in Biology from Florida International University.
Tickets $10 or $5 for members


All presenters are currently lecturing pro-bono but we are seeking donations/sponsors to allow us to bring in renowned authorities from afar in the near future.

Open Day

Visitors enjoy 1-hour guided tours of the garden led by knowledgeable docents, exploring key collections such as the Mexican oaks and magnolias. Seasonal highlights are featured and there is the opportunity to purchase many of the plants from the garden at our nursery on Open Days. Refreshments are available, and parking and plant sale admission is free.

Peckerwood Garden Open Day hours are 10:00-3:00 pm. Guided tours are offered approximately every 1/2 hour from 10 am and 2 pm, and you may reserve a place in the hour of your choice in advance. Purchase Tickets

Order Online


Tour fee is $10 per person. Peckerwood Garden Foundation members are always welcome, free of charge, to participate in Open Days tours.

Members, please call 979-826-3232 or email EventRegistration@peckerwoodgarden.org for reservations.

Open Day and tour Volunteers please register here: Volunteer Registration


Private tours

Private tours may be scheduled most days. Tour fee is $15 per person with details available here. Lunch may be organized in the garden with a scheduled tour. Our nursery is available for your use throughout your visit.

Nursery visits

Visits tour our nursery may be scheduled most days and is always open during events and private tours. Call for availability.


Unfortunately, baby strollers, and pets are not allowed in the garden due to the delicate and sharp plants and small uneven pathways. Garden entry is by guided tour only. For more information about our Open Days and events, please contact us. Service animals with identification are allowed.

Directions

Evening at Peckerwood Garden Lecture

In our continuing effort to make Peckerwood Garden a publicly-accessible resource for education and enjoyment, we are proud to introduce a monthly program of evening lectures conducted by knowledgeable staff and friends of Peckerwood as well as local or visiting experts. Topics will include various aspects of horticulture, botany, garden design, plant collecting adventures, conservation and many other related fields of interest. During summer and early fall, evening light permitting, the nursery will be open just prior to the lecture, 6:30 pm – 7:00 pm. Light refreshments will be provided. Unless otherwise noted, presentations will be held indoors.

Attendance is limited so advance reservations are necessary.

Members $5

Non-Members $10

February 17
Adam Black will present at the Evening at Peckerwood Lecture: Alpine-style rock gardens for hot climatesa distinctive and new low maintenance gardening technique for the gulf coast region. 

Alpine plants in a northern-style rock garden would be impossible in our hot summers. However, the same effect can be created using small plants with a similar compact shape as those found in alpine areas. When many southerners think “rock garden” they automatically think of cacti, agaves, and other xeric plants growing among rocks. We will instead focus on more traditional rock garden perennials that are small, compact, creeping, or otherwise, are diminutive and best featured in a rockery. These include many Texas and southeastern US natives, as well as a variety of warm climate perennials and dwarf woody shrubs from Mexico, South Africa, South America, the Mediterranean region, China, and beyond. Also, come to see the progress of the developing rock gardens around our offices to show what can be done in our region using tried-and-true options as well as things we are trialing.

Tickets $10 or $5 for members


All presenters are currently lecturing pro-bono but we are seeking donations/sponsors to allow us to bring in renowned authorities from afar in the near future.

Monthly Focused Training

Volunteers, join us to deepen your knowledge of Peckerwood Garden and the specific collections housed here!

Our volunteers are a key part of our work and development and these monthly training sessions allow you to develop your knowledge, connection, and experience.  Join us each month for these docent training sessions.
Learn more at: http://peckerwoodgarden.org/monthly-training/ 

Volunteers register at: https://www.volgistics.com/ex/portal.dll/?from=284565

Members purchase tickets at: https://goo.gl/l8Hyct


Volunteers and Docents register at https://www.volgistics.com/ex/portal.dll/?from=284565

Guests please call 979-826-3232 or email info@peckerwoodgarden.org for availability.

These monthly sessions are open to all active volunteers. Maps, notes, outlines, and digital files will be available.

Contact Bethany Jordan with questions at bethany@peckerwoodgarden.org or at 979-826-3232.


Members may join us if space is available for $15 per person. Pre-registration is required.

Call 979-826-3232 or email info@peckerwoodgarden.org

Please note this is not a casual tour but a focused class on a single topic and class size is limited to 15.

Evening at Peckerwood Garden Lecture – Winter Interest in the Garden

In our continuing effort to make Peckerwood Garden a publicly-accessible resource for education and enjoyment, we are proud to introduce a monthly program of evening lectures conducted by knowledgeable staff and friends of Peckerwood as well as local or visiting experts. Topics will include various aspects of horticulture, botany, garden design, plant collecting adventures, conservation and many other related fields of interest. During summer and early fall, evening light permitting, the nursery will be open just prior to the lecture, 6:30 pm – 7:00 pm. Light refreshments will be provided. Unless otherwise noted, presentations will be held indoors.

Attendance is limited so advance reservations are necessary.

Members $5

Non-Members $10


All presenters are currently lecturing pro-bono but we are seeking donations/sponsors to allow us to bring in renowned authorities from afar in the near future.