En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - December 24, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Seeds and Seeding, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Starting yucca from seed from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I would like to start a soft leaf yucca recurvifolia from seed. Is that possible? Also, I've looked for seed on dried flower stalks, and I'm not sure that what I'm finding is the seed, and I can't find a photo of the seed/seed on the stalk anywhere online. If it IS possible to propagate from seed, where would I find it? Again, having a problem finding it online.


The only yucca close to that name of Yucca recurvifolia in our Native Plant Database is Yucca reverchonii (San angelo yucca). So, we dug a little deeper discovered that Yucca recurvifolia is a synonym for Yucca gloriosa (Moundlily yucca).,  Synonym, in this case, means that botanists, in their infinite wisdom, have changed the species name (from  (reverchonii  to gloriosa).   However, all is not lost - two members of the Mr. Smarty Plants Team anwered a question about growing yucca from seed in a  much better Previous Mr. Smarty Plants Answer than this one could. You will have to scroll down the website page they refer you to in order to get to "Propagation of Yucca." It is detailed with pictures and if you can't propagate yuccas with that information, then you just can't.

On our webpage on Yucca gloriosa (Moundlily yucca), you will note that the states in which the this yucca grow natively are all in Southeast North America, but give it a try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Generally speaking, yucca seeds and their pods are similar to one another. Here is another previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer on the subject. From Google, here are a LOT of pictures of the pods and seed. If you run your cursor over a picture. it will enlarge, and if you click on it, it will take you the article from which the picture was extracted.

Aren't you sorry you asked? Now you can spend Christmas Day becoming a yucca propagation expert.


From the Image Gallery

Plains yucca
Yucca campestris

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Cutting bloom stalk of century plant in San Diego CA
June 25, 2010 - My 28 yr old century plant will bloom soon. I understand it will die. Will this 30 ft stalk then likely fall? Will I need to call someone to cut the dead stalk? The base is nearly 7 ft by 6ft - n...
view the full question and answer

Dealing with beetles feeding on cholla cactus
June 20, 2010 - Hi Mr. Smarty Pants, I bought a Cylindropuntia imbricata from the Wildflower center and it was growing like crazy. I recently noticed a lot of beetles feeding on it. Some are black and some are gra...
view the full question and answer

Moving Century plants in Norwalk CA
September 15, 2009 - I have two large Century plants that are each 10 1/2 years old. One is 4'x5' tall and wide with about 8-10 small shoots. The smaller in about 3 1/2'x 5' with about 6 shoots. They've grown too l...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Agave americana by seed
July 11, 2007 - Dear Mr Smarty Pants, My Century Plant is fulfilling its one wish and blooming flowers from its massive stalk. Although I am very sad to see it go, it is certainly a sight to behold. This plant, ...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of non-native Selenicereus Antonyanus from Warwick RI
March 24, 2012 - I just purchased a Selenicereus Anthonyanus, Rick Rack Cactus unrooted. I have searched on the web of the proper way to root the plant and have had no luck except it says easy rooting but not how to r...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center