Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bloom spikes everywhere…

I love yucca, and I love them even more when they’re blooming. Maybe because it’s the closest thing to an agave in flower that I’ll ever see in my garden. Last night I discovered an emerging bloom spike on a yucca I just planted a few weeks ago (above). I bought several this spring when I was on a hardy plant buying kick, when the deaths of my flax and cordylines were still fresh in my mind and I vowed I would only buy tough plants that could take freezing cold, snow and ice (that resolve lasted about a week). After finding one yucca bloom spike I naturally had to go on a hunt to see if there were others. There are 10! At the Recycled Gardens spring sale last year I picked up a Dracunculus vulgaris, (Dragon Arum) from the same Family but different Genus and Species as the Sauromatum venosum, (which I had been anticipating seeing in bloom, until our dog got to it first). The flower on the Dracunculus is also very striking and it is reported to have the same rotting meat odor. The leaves are a little frillier, not as large and dramatic but still beauties, and he stalk still has the same fabulous dark brown spots. I’ve been admiring the leaves for weeks now and last night I discovered that it’s going to bloom! This one tricked me by pushing out leaves before the flower, where as the Sauromatum sends out the flower long before the leaves.
The big surprise of the evening came when I saw a small but unmistakable red flower spike on a Hesperaloe parviflora, on a plant I’ve had for 3 years. It was blooming when I bought it but never has bloomed since.
And the bloom spike on my newly purchased (earlier this year - already with the bloom spike showing) Hesperaloe just keeps getting taller and taller, I couldn't fit the pot and the bloom tip in the same photo, spring is such an exciting time in the danger garden!


  1. AnonymousJune 02, 2009

    Yay! Another Oregonian. Thanks for visiting my site, DG. I will be sure to add you to my Faves. That is, after I get over being totally jealous of your blooming Hesperaloe. Mine is a newbie this year. Impossible to find down here so I bought it online at Big Dipper Farm. It's healthy but I would be blown over if it bloomed. Love the foliage on Dracula. I suggested to Teza (Blotanical)that when it blooms he should have a bottle of Febreeze on hand. Congrats on your Yucca buds. I've heard that the blossoms have a nice scent. Maybe the two will bloom simultaneously and cancel each other out. Ooh. I see a post for Cistus...gotta run.

  2. I love to see those flowers! They all look so different. Sometimes, I wonder how mother nature works. They have different flowers for all plants. Interesting!

  3. At first I thought that last picture had a flower spike rising out of that tiny little pot behind it.
    I guess that Dracunculus must be the thing I had in my box at Recycled Gardens but then chickened out and put it back. I'm glad you had the courage to get it.

  4. Hello Grace! I've asked others what the trick is to get the Hesperaloe to bloom and most have said that it doesn't get hot enough here in Portland so it probably ain't gonna happen. I'd given up and then this happens! Thanks for fav'ing me on Blotanical!

    Stephanie isn't that fun?

    I'm good at taking bad pictures like that Megan, you know where the person your photographing is standing in front of something that then looks like they have an antenna coming out of their head? Or one of my favs, it looked like my husband was hanging from a chain, when actually the chain was behind him. Ah well. So why did you chicken out? The smell?

  5. I love those pink spiky flowers! My cousin and her German wife call those "Sprongymen" maybe it's a German thing? :)

  6. You're a spiky kinda gardener DG! I love all those beautiful flower spikes you have. What's the Recycled Garden sale? - it sounds like a good one.

    And I clearly must get a yucca or seven.

  7. Oh my....sprongymen! I have to hear you say that Andrea so I know how to pronounce it because it's what I want to call them now!

    Jane...Recycled Gardens was this fabulous place out in Hillsboro that took donated plant material and sold it. The proceeds benefited Poppa (Pet Over-Population Prevention Advocates). Once every spring they would have a big sale where gallon size pots went for $2 or $3! It always rained for the sale so you were mucking around in mud. It was fun! But sadly they closed. Please don't tell me you are yucca-less?


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