Ivory Tower YuccaYucca filamentosa 'Ivory Tower'
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Yucca filamentosa 'Ivory Tower'
Outdoor Growing zone
The Ivory Tower Yucca is a bold architectural garden plant with long, sword-like leaves of blue-green in rosettes. In late summer older plants send up towering stems 6 feet tall topped with large, creamy-white, bell-shaped flowers. A plant in bloom is gorgeous, and the foliage is also striking, with the 3-foot long leaves making a striking contrast to most other garden plants. This very hardy native American plant is perfect for the hottest and driest parts of your garden, and it looks just as good in formal settings, modern minimalist styles, xeric gardens, and wild gardens too.
Neither intense cold nor heat bother the Ivory Tower Yucca. It thrives in the hottest and driest parts of the country, or of your garden, yet it is hardy all through zone 4, and any leaves damaged in winter are quickly replaced in spring. Grow it in full sun, although it will tolerate a little shade too. It grows in all kinds of soils – acid, alkaline, sandy, clay, gravel – just as long as they are not wet. Pests and diseases don’t bother it, deer leave it alone, and it tolerates salt spray easily too. It needs virtually no care or attention, and it thrives in the most difficult places.
Increasingly gardeners are looking for ways to garden without using large amounts of water. This could be because of local restrictions, or for environmental concerns. Whatever the reason, xeric gardening, as this trend is called, looks for plants that will grow under severe drought conditions, and to create attractive gardens that need no supplementary watering. Right at the top of any list for such a garden, and equally at home in regular gardens too, is the Ivory Tower Yucca. Its slender, sword-like leaves are loved by garden designers for their dramatic form, and the tall spikes of white flowers are strikingly beautiful. Cold-hardy as well as drought-resistant, this tough yet beautiful yucca plant is exactly what your garden is looking for.
The Ivory Tower Yucca is a perennial evergreen shrub with a very short trunk hidden at or below ground level, topped with a bold rosette of many slender, spikey leaves radiating out in all directions. Younger leaves are stiff and upright, while older ones tend to bend over and become more ‘relaxed’. The leaves are neatly arranged in a circle when the shoots are young, but they become more random as they mature. A plant develops into a cluster of rosettes, with the leaves growing 3 or even 4 feet long, forming a dense clump of foliage. The leaves are leathery, slightly glossy, and dark blue-green in color. Along the edges of the leaves are thin, curling threads, and the tip of each leaf is a sharp point. This plant has a thick, woody root and very short stems that support the slowly spreading clump of leaf rosettes.
In late summer older clumps of the Ivory Tower Yucca will flower. This is when the plant lives up to its name, sending towering spikes of flowers up to 6 feet into the air. A clump may have several spikes at the same time, and each one is long and slender, but sturdy, and it normally needs no staking or support. In the upper one-third of the stem there are many large flowers, which hang outwards like a beautiful cluster of bells. The flowers are large, about 2 ½ inches long and an inch across, with 5 pointed petals forming an upside-down bowl. They are creamy white, sometimes flecked with soft chartreuse green, and they give out a beautiful rich, tropical perfume you will love. It is hard to believe that this clump of leaves can make such a beautiful floral display.
The Ivory Tower Yucca is incredibly hardy. It is cold-resistant down to minus 30 degrees, yet also hardy in the hottest and driest parts of zone 9. It will grow in any kind of soil, both acid and alkaline, and in hard clay or dry, rocky sand. It also grows in ordinary garden soils, and anywhere except wet places. Grow it among rocks and boulders in exposed sunny places. Use it at a beach cottage, planted in pure sand and exposed to the ocean. Plant it in those dry spots beneath roof overhangs. Use it in the foreground of shrub beds, or in planters and pots, where if you forget to water it won’t mind at all. Once established it will take extreme dryness, as well as salt-spray, and it should be grown in full sun, although it will tolerate some partial shade too. No part of your garden is too hot and dry for this plant, and it needs no care, other than removing old flower spikes at ground level. In colder zones, the foliage may brown during the winter, but in spring simply trim it off and new leaves will quickly replace them. It has no pests or diseases, and deer leave it alone too, so it is perfect for natural and semi-wild areas.
The Ivory Tower Yucca is a selected, more vigorous and larger form of Adam’s Needle, Yucca filamentosa. This plant is native to America, growing all the way from South Carolina to Florida and into Mississippi. It grows in coastal areas, on sand dunes and beaches, as well as in rough open ground. There are a number of different varieties, often with white or yellow on the leaves, and we don’t know where the form called ‘Ivory Tower’ came from. We do know how popular these plants are, and how quickly they sell out. So set yourself up for some easy gardening, and order the Ivory Tower Yucca now.