Seed of the Week: Red Yucca

Our black mystery seeds from last week were from the popular landscape plant, red yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora).

As a small evergreen perennial, red yuccas work well in yards and along roadsides. In fact they are so common, it is easy to overlook their quiet beauty.

Although it is called red, the plant actually has pink-colored flowers on tall stalks. The name yucca is a also a misnomer. Red yuccas are in the Agave family.

Originally from the Rio-Grande area of Texas, red yuccas are drought tolerant and thrive in the heat.

The flowers are bell shaped.

The plants flower throughout the summer and into fall.

As you can see in the photograph above, it is not uncommon to see green and dried seed pods on the same stalk with open flowers.

The seeds are black and flat, forming a “D.”

The flowers are popular with hummingbirds and insects like this honey bee, too.

All in all, the red yucca is the quiet workhorse of the desert landscape.

Do red yuccas grow where you live?

More lovely photographs of the whole plant

Note:  Mystery seed is taking a break today for science book week. It will be back next week.


  1. Randi Ziring

    I believe I have red yuccas in the neighborhood. I snatched a few pods from a neighbors plant wanting to plant it as a border around my native garden, near the Delaware, on the west coast of New Jersey. If I send a photo of the seeds and pod, can you tell me the best time to plant the seeds? For now, I have put some seeds in the refrigerator.
    Thanks so.

  2. Roberta


    Given your location, you might be better off contacting someone at Longwood Gardens because our seasons are different than yours. Or you might try your local Master Gardeners. Check with your county Cooperative Extension to see if they have Master Gardener volunteers.

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