Commonly known as ‘Our Lord’s Candle’ the Yucca whipplei in our Mediterranean Biome is flowering for the very first time! It is native to southern California and Baja California in Mexico where it occurs in chaparral, coastal sage scrub and oak woodland plant communities usually between 300 and 2500 m.
From the centre of a rosette of long, narrow, spine-tipped leaves, the single inflorescence can sky-rocket to a height of 3m bearing hundreds of bell-shaped greenish-white flowers edged with purple. It is pollinated during the night by the female Californian yucca moth and in return the plant provides food for her larvae.
In early spring these majestic flowers provide a stunning spectacle in the Californian countryside but in the past the flowers, fruits, seeds and stems were eaten by indigenous peoples. They also provide food for antelopes, ground squirrels and hummingbirds. This plant has been an important fibre plant in the past.
So head for the Mediterranean Biome and you’ll find our Yucca on the Californian hillside beyond the Harley Davidson!