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Products > Hesperaloe parviflora
Hesperaloe parviflora - Red Yucca
Image of Hesperaloe parviflora
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (now Asparagaceae)
Origin: Southwest (U.S.) (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Rose
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [Hesperaloe yuccaefolia]
Height: 3-4 feet
Width: 4-5 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): No Irrigation required
Winter Hardiness: < 0 F
Hesperaloe parviflora (Red Yucca) - A stemless succulent with clumps of arching and spreading grass-like foliage to 3 to 4 feet tall and speading wider than tall. The leathery long, narrow blue-green leaves have deep grooves and white fraying fibers along the margins and winter temperatures sometimes turn the foliage slightly purple. Clumps spread slowly to up to 6 feet wide. In late spring to mid-summer the clusters of rose-pink flowers are borne on tall red flower stalks to 5 feet long, that arch up and outward. These flowers, opening from the bottom up, are quite attractive to hummingbirds. Individual rosette only flower once and are replace by younger ones with old plants appearing to be closely packed grass-like clumps but are actually clusters of separate but closely-spaced rosettes with the oldest flowering rosettes towards the center and younger vegetative rosettes towards the outside.

Plant in full sun or light shade in a well-drained soil. It is drought tolerant and does best in a hot spot in the garden but appreciates occasional irrigation in summer to encourage flowering but do not over water. Hardy to well below 0 F some say as low as -20 F (USDA zone 5). It is a good clean plant for desert and succulent gardens, planted in masses or used in pots. Unarmed leaves make it useful along pathways but unfortunately it also makes it tempting as browse material for deer.

Hesperaloe parviflora is native to the Chihuahuan desert of west Texas east and south into central and south Texas and northeastern Mexico around Coahuila. The name Hesperaloe means western aloe with the combination the Greek word 'Hesperis' meaning "of the evening" or "western" with "aloe" in reference to this plant being found in the North America (in the west) and superficially looking like plants in the genus Aloe. The specific epithet is from the Latin words 'parvus' meaning "small" and 'flora' meaning "flower" in reference to the small flowers that are scattered along the inflorescence. The plant was first described as Yucca parviflora by John Torrey in the Report on the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey in 1859 and was renamed Aloe yuccaefolia by Asa Gray in Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1868 and then Hesperaloe yuccaefolia when George Engelmann described the plant in Sereno Watson's United States Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel vol. 5. The name currently used is the combination that John Merle Coulter used in his description Contributions from the United States National Herbarium in 1894. Other common names include False Red Yucca, Texas Red Yucca, Samandoque, Coral Yucca Red Flower Yucca and Hummingbird Yucca.

We have also grown a smaller dark red selection called Hesperaloe Brakelights a yellow form of the species called Hesperaloe parviflora 'Yellow Sun' and a hybrid between Hesperaloe parviflora and Hesperaloe funifera called Hesperaloe Pink Parade ['Perfu']. 

This information about Hesperaloe parviflora displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.