Known as: Coral Yucca, False Yucca, Hummingbird Yucca
Scientific name: Hesperaloe parviflora
Did You Know?
Red Yucca is not actually a yucca but is rather a member of the Century-Plant family. Also of note is that Red Yucca’s flowers are not always necessarily red. The common variety’s flowers are a choral pink while the “brake lights” variety’s flowers are deep red. There is also a new cultivar with bright yellow flowers. Hummingbirds are attracted to Red Yucca’s flowers as are deer, which eat the flowers but otherwise leave the plant alone.
Red Yucca (also known as “Coral Yucca” or “False yucca”) is popular for its persistent blooms, evergreen color, and architectural form. Red Yucca grows from a central rosette and has an open form spreading to around 3’-4’ with flower stalks that extend around 5’ high. Red Yucca’s deep green color, strong form, and relatively large size makes it perfect for accent planting, xeric landscapes, in native gardens, and even in mass plantings. Red yucca prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade although it will produce less flowers.
Native to prairies, rocky slopes, and mesquite groves in Central Texas and Northern Mexico, Red Yucca is heat and drought tolerant, has low water requirements, and requires little fertilizer once established. The tough, deep green foliage is evergreen and deer resistant. The flowers attract Hummingbirds and night pollinating moths as well as deer which browse on the flowers. Red Yucca blooms from March through October with March through June being the main flowering period. Flower stalks can be left to produce fruit which will eventually split releasing seeds which are an important food source for wildlife.
Plants are readily available commercially. Potted plants typically come in 1 to 15 gallon sizes. Low water needs and requires good drainage.
Give Red Yucca time and room to grow and avoid planting too close to walkways (while it has no thorns its open habit can intrude into pedestrian spaces).