San Marcos Growers LogoSan Marcos Growers
New User
Wholesale Login
Enter Password
Home Products Purchase Gardens About Us Resources Contact Us
Nursery Closure
Search Utilities
Plant Database
Search Plant Name
Detail Search Avanced Search Go Button
Search by size, origins,
details, cultural needs
Website Search Search Website GO button
Search for any word
Site Map
Retail Locator
Plant Listings


  for JUNE

Natives at San Marcos Growers
Succulents at San Marcos Growers
 Weather Station

Products > Yucca rostrata 'Blue Velvet'
Yucca rostrata 'Blue Velvet' - Big Bend Yucca
Image of Yucca rostrata 'Blue Velvet'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Agavaceae (now Asparagaceae)
Origin: Southwest (U.S.) (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [Y. rostrata 'Super Blue']
Height: 12-16 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10 F
Yucca rostrata 'Blue Velvet' (Blue Velvet Big Bend Yucca) - A beautiful blue-gray selection of the slow-growing tree-like yucca with upright stems and beautiful gray-blue narrow foliage. Although it can branch, it is most often seen with a single trunk, that can grow to 12-15 feet tall. This selection has broad heads (to 4 feet wide) with 2 foot long flexible slightly waxy, pale bluish-gray leaves. The old leaves fall off leaving a fibrous soft gray covering on the trunk. Large clusters of white flowers bloom on yellowish orange-colored stalks rise above the foliage on mature plants in late spring.

The species performs best in warm sunny areas with good drainage and occasional to infrequent summer irrigation. It is noted as preferring alkaline conditions and is hardy to around 0F. We have found that gophers are fond of this plant and will tunnel right up the stem - must be yummy!

This seedling selection was made by Steve Rauch from seed grown plants that Steven Duey of Gavalan Mt. Succulents purchased at San Marcos Growers in November 2008. In 2011 Steve Rauch first shared laboratory micropropagated (tissue culture) plants with us and told us he selected this plant for its vigor and broad head of very blue-gray leaves that were not stiff. The name "Blue Velvet" was trademarked in October 2014 and we were allowed to use it by Steve Rausch. This original trademark was canceled with a new application submitted in 2022 that is still pending approval.

The species, Yucca rostrata, naturally inhabits western Texas and northern Mexico in the states of Chihuahua and Coahuila where is can be found on rocky slopes and ridges. The name Yucca was given to the genus by Linnaeus, perhaps by mistake, as it is the Latinized derivation of "yuca", the Caribbean name for Cassava (Manihot esculenta) an unrelated plant in the Euphorbia family that is native to the Caribbean area. Interestingly it was also Linnaeus who applied the name Manihot to Yuca. The specific epithet 'rostrata' means "beaked" in reference to either the shape of the flower buds or appendages on the fruit. This has given this plant the common name of Beaked Yucca, but it is also called Silver Yucca or Big Bend yucca for the region in Texas where it is commonly found. The indigenous people of this area also called it Soyate and Palmita.

We first learned this plant as Adam's Yucca, named for an enterprising nurseryman in Texas who was shipping specimen size plants bare root into California, many of which ended up gracing the front of high-end stores such as Nordstrom's, giving rise to another common name, Nordstrom's Yucca. It is sometimes confused with Yucca rigida which has stiffer leaves that are more bowed in cross section compared to the flat leaves of Yucca rostrata. Though the tip of this plant is fairly sharp the lack of stiffness in the leaves makes this plant less dangerous than most others of the genus. One person, offering a test in a succulent forum, jokingly noted that one way to tell the difference between Yucca rostrata and the similar Yucca rigida was to hold your hand a few inches away from the leaves and shove hard towards the leaf; if the leaf went through your hand it was Y. rigida, if not it was likely Y. rostrata. 

This information about Yucca rostrata 'Blue Velvet' 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.