Yucca rostrata var. linearis
Y. rostrata is native to Mexico Northeast and Texas where the plant grows up to 800 m of altitude in rocky slopes and canyons
Y. rostrate is a tree-like succulent belonging to the Agavaceae botanical family. The plant usually is solitary and doesn’t branch and the single trunk can reach up to 4.5 m. At the top of the trunk there is a dens rosette of leaves that when old fall on leaving a fibrous covering the trunk. The leaves are narrow lanceolate, up to 60 cm long, bluish green in color with a yellowish margin and a slightly waxy leaf page. Each leaf bears a long and sharp brownish terminal spine. Blooming occurs from early spring to early summer and blossom are borne on the rosette. The Inflorescence is a large panicle-like cluster of small white flowers. The flowers are pendent, bell-shaped, sharply acuminate. The fruits are capsules and are numerous in this species.
This is a slow growing plant, easy to cultivate. The plant needs a full light sun exposure but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The plant does not like temperatures below 10°C so it needs to be placed indoors in the coldest periods. The soil should be mixed with pumice, clay and loam to allow the drainage and prevent the root rot, the plant is prone to it indeed. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly in Spring and Summer: during the vegetative period you can water the plant (every 7 days), checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. If you want a faster and lush growth you can fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for cacti; stop fertilizing throughout the winter. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil.
The easiest and fast method of propagation is to use cuttings but it is also possible by seed. By cutting you can make the cut during the spring and then let the cutting dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form, then place the cutting in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C. By seed it is very simple to propagate the plant, it is enough to sow the seed in a sandy loam soil and keep it with a high level of humidity and at temperature of 14 C°.
The name of this genus was decided by the botanist Johann Jakob Dillen, who towards the end of the 1700’s took the name given by the people of Central America to the most common of these plants, extending it to the whole genus. The name ‘rostrata’ is due to the beak, also called rostrum, which is present in the fruit.
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