Beschorneria yuccoides K. Koch

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Beschorneria yuccoides' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/beschorneria/beschorneria-yuccoides/). Accessed 2020-10-28.

Genus

Other species in genus

    Glossary

    axil
    Angle between the upper side of a leaf and the stem.
    bract
    Reduced leaf often subtending flower or inflorescence.
    glaucous
    Grey-blue often from superficial layer of wax (bloom).
    lanceolate
    Lance-shaped; broadest in middle tapering to point.
    linear
    Strap-shaped.
    ovary
    Lowest part of the carpel containing the ovules; later developing into the fruit.
    perianth
    Calyx and corolla. Term used especially when petals and sepals are not easily distinguished from each other.

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    Credits

    Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

    Recommended citation
    'Beschorneria yuccoides' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/beschorneria/beschorneria-yuccoides/). Accessed 2020-10-28.

    An evergreen plant with a low, thick, semi-woody stem or root-stock, bearing a rosette of radiating leaves in the same fashion as a yucca. Leaves stalkless, 112 to 212 ft long, 2 to 312 in. wide, of somewhat lanceolate shape, sharply pointed, dilated at the sheathing base, rather glaucous, margins and under-surface rough. Flowers green, opening from June onwards on a stout, arching, red, branching scape, 4 to 6 ft long and 1 to 2 in. in diameter at the base. Towards the top the scape produces short drooping branches, each springing from the axil of a red bract and bearing three to five quite pendulous flowers. Each flower is about 2 in. long, the basal part consisting of a cylindrical ovary 34 in. long, the terminal part of the cylinder-like perianth carrying six linear segments 114 in. long. Fruit fig-shaped, about 2 in. long. Bot. Mag., t. 5203.

    Native of Mexico; introduced some time previous to 1859, probably by Lord Ilchester. For a long time nothing was known of its origin, but early in the twentieth century the American botanist Pringle found it growing wild in the mountains above Pachuca, Mexico. It is not hardy at Kew but succeeds well nearer the south coast if planted at the foot of a south wall. Even at Cambridge, in the University Botanic Garden, planted against a greenhouse wall and covered every winter, it has borne flower-spikes 6 ft tall and is still grown there (1966). In the extreme south and west it is very fine and even grows well as far north as Inverewe in Wester Ross.

    The flowers hang rather like fuchsias and their green colouring forms a not unpleasing contrast with the beautiful, rather rhubarb-like red of the main and secondary flower-stalks and bracts. It should be planted in good loam, well drained, and given the sunniest spot available. In its one known wild habitat it grows on a steep, rocky slope in a region where the winters are dry, which suggests that a soggy soil in winter may be as antagonistic to it as frost.

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