Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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?

Share

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - June 16, 2015

From: Burnet, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Cacti and Succulents, Wildflowers
Title: Twist-leaf Yucca flowering in Burnet County, TX.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I recently moved to Burnet County and our property is full of twist leaf yuccas which are now blooming, but not all are blooming. Why do some twist leaf yuccas bloom and others don't? Are they male female? I have a group of twist leaf yuccas growing in a cluster, do they propagate through the roots? No yucca in this group is blooming, does that have anything do do with how they are propagated? Thanks!

ANSWER:

Once mature, a Yucca sp. plant will flower repeatedly, but not necessarily every year.  Yuccas produce their large flower-bearing inflorescences using energy stored in their roots in the form of carbohydrates.  The energy requirements necessary for flowering are substantial and it often takes a plant more than one year after flowering to recover sufficiently to flower again.

Yuccas increase by both offsets and by seeds.  Young plants will not begin flowering until they reach a sufficient stage of maturity and food storage to produce flowers.  Yucca flowers are hermaphroditic, having both male and female parts.  They are dependent on a single species of moth for pollination and in areas where the moth is rare or absent (such as Austin, TX) yuccas produce flower, but rarely produce fruit.

 

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Yucca filamentosa suffering from damp feet in Houston
February 09, 2012 - Last year, I planted three enormous and gorgeous Yucca Filamentosa in my backyard. Two are thriving but the third started turning yellow then brown from the bottom up after a few weeks of rains. S...
view the full question and answer

Foundation plants for Albuquerque.
July 01, 2012 - Hello, I live in Albuquerque. I am looking for some native/xeric low water usage plants for foundation plants for my home. They will be foundation plants for a two story home that has a large ponde...
view the full question and answer

Central Texas plant to grow in cavity in cedar (Juniperus ashei)
February 27, 2010 - Is there a CenTX native that would be happy in a one-gallon cavity in a Cedar tree? I'd like to disguise an amputated limb. I'd consider a Bromeliad or Staghorn fern, but would prefer a native.
view the full question and answer

Damage to Agave in New Braunfels, TX
August 21, 2008 - In a flower box, I have an Agave on which the leaves have been damaged. It looks as if a deer rubbed his antlers on it. Is there any animal in south central Texas that would try to eat an agave?
view the full question and answer

Selenicereus anthonyanus, Rickrack or Fishbone Cactus
February 28, 2007 - A friend of mine gave me a plant he said was a rick rack plant. I have tried to research it on line with no luck and I don't know the scientific name...any help?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.