H. Perennial & Old Fashioned Garden Plants & Flowers by John Wood
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Yucca Recurva - Hardy Perennial
Author: John Wood
Yucca Recurva Described.
Yucca Recurva - Recurve-leaved Yucca; Common Name, Weeping Yucca; Nat. Ord. Liliaceæ.
This is a charming species, perfectly hardy and evergreen; it was brought from Georgia about 190 years ago.
The flowers are a greenish-white, and undesirable where the shrub is grown for the sake of its ornamental qualities; fortunately they are far from being constant in their appearance. September is its blooming period in our climate. The leaves are its main feature; with age it becomes rather tall, 6ft. to 9ft. high, having a woody hole or caudex, which is largely concealed by the handsome drooping foliage; a few of the youngest leaves from the middle of the tuft remain erect. The whole specimen is characterised by its deep green and glossy foliage, combined with a most graceful habit. Few things can be planted with such desirable effect as this shrub; it puts a stamp on the landscape, parterre and shrubland, and when well grown forms a landmark in the most extensive garden.
For all the species and varieties of Yucca the mode of culture is not only similar but simple. They have long roots of a wiry texture. These denote that they require deep soil, light, and rather dry. Sandy loam, light vegetable soil, or marl and peat grow them well. Raised beds or borders, the higher parts of rockwork, or any open position, thoroughly drained, will not only be conducive to their health, but also prove fitting points of vantage. In planting Yuccas it must never be forgotten that perfect drainage is the all important requisite, and if it is not afforded the stock will never thrive, but ultimately die from rot or canker. Another matter, when referred to, will perhaps complete all that is special about the culture, or rather planting, of Yuccas. Begin with young stuff; I know nothing that transplants worse than this class of shrubs after they have become considerably grown. Their spare, wiry roots, when taken out of a sandy soil, do not carry a "ball," and from the great depth to which they run they are seldom taken up without more than ordinary damage. Young specimens, 6in., 9in., or not more than 12in. high, should be preferred, and of these sizes the least will prove the safest. Yuccas are readily propagated at the proper season; and in specifying the season it is needful to point out that of offsets, from which young stock is soonest obtained, there are two kinds. Some spring from immediately below the earth, and may more properly be termed suckers; the others grow on the visible part of the stem or caudex, often close to the oldest leaves; these should be cut off with a sharp knife, in early summer, and if they have a little of the parent bark attached to them all the better.
If they are planted in a shady place, in sweet sandy loam, they will make good roots before winter, and may be allowed to make the following summer's growth in the same position. In the succeeding autumn it will be a good plan to put them in their permanent places. The suckers will be found to have more or less root; they should be taken in spring from the parent specimen, the roots should be carefully preserved, and the pushing parts planted just level with the surface.
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