Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Yucca rupicola

with 26 comments

Now you know why Yucca rupicola, which in all the world grows natively only in central Texas, is called twistleaf yucca. Although the species is endemic here, it’s not rare at all: in fact it’s quite common, and I see it practically every time I go out wandering. I took this photograph of a twistleaf yucca leaf on February 23 at the same roadside fringe of land in northwest Austin that most recently and fruitfully brought you pictures of a hover fly and crossed anemones. I did my best to keep the closer edge of the leaf in focus, and my trusty Canon 100mm macro lens did its best to oblige me. Call that teamwork.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 7, 2012 at 5:44 AM

26 Responses

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  1. Love this one.


    March 7, 2012 at 6:06 AM

    • For your sake I’ll add that I sat and lay on the ground to take the picture.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 7, 2012 at 6:50 AM

      • LOL Yes, that is most definitely for my sake. Curious…doing those shots, how do you avoid being a convenient chigger transport / dine-in?


        March 7, 2012 at 6:55 AM

      • One great thing about last year’s drought was that I got very few chigger bites. We’re far enough into this rainier year that I’m soon going to start paying the chigger price for some of my ramblings. I’ll spray on an insect repellent, hoping it does some good, but I seem to be chigger bait nonetheless. That’s unfortunately an occupational hazard for a nature photographer with my body chemistry.

        Steve Schwartzman

        March 7, 2012 at 7:06 AM

  2. When you scroll down it appears to move! You do capture life in all its purity!

    Bonnie Michelle

    March 7, 2012 at 7:03 AM

    • Thanks for pointing that out. I tried it, and the movement brought to mind these song words from the 1960s: “Well come on, baby, let’s do the twist.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 7, 2012 at 7:10 AM

  3. Lovely capture, Sally

    Sally W. Donatello

    March 7, 2012 at 7:28 AM

  4. You have a sharp eye for detail. Love this photo!


    March 7, 2012 at 7:31 AM

    • I’ll grant that for me there’s delight in the details. There’s also a sharpness, alas, that comes from so many of the plants that grow here. I sometimes experience the second in pursuit of the first.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 7, 2012 at 7:36 AM

      • Yes – I’m very familiar with the Yucca plant – when I was little, we thought of them as weeds (Texas) – then we just gave up – I love them now and let them be. 🙂


        March 7, 2012 at 7:48 AM

      • Another song title: “Let It Be.” You must be happy to have learned to love the yuccas.

        Steve Schwartzman

        March 7, 2012 at 7:52 AM

  5. I’ve never seen this variety – or, perhaps, I’ve just not noticed it.

    Of course I love the clean lines, the structure of it all – it’s an arts and crafts plant. Not only that, it reminds me of a Möbius Strip!


    March 7, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    • Several times you’ve written about visiting the Texas Hill Country, so it’s almost certain that you’ve seen twistleaf yucca but, as you said, without being conscious of it. In mentioning Möbius, you make the math person in me happy.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 7, 2012 at 9:25 AM

  6. I followed the dangerous curve of the leaf and and made note of the serrated edge, then read I read the title:

    “Yucca ripicola”

    My eyes were seeing what my brain had suggested I guess. ~ Lynda


    March 7, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    • That’s a ripping good one, as the Brits might say. The way you read the word strikes me as a mental Freudian slip. The species name rupicola, by the way, means ‘colonizing rocks,’ apparently a reference in this case to the fact that twistleaf yucca grows in the hilly country of central Texas, that is underlain by limestone.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 7, 2012 at 1:06 PM

  7. Very cool abstract Steve. Well done!


    March 9, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    • Thanks, David. By now you know my penchant for abstraction (which is one of the tags I used for this picture).

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 9, 2012 at 9:36 AM

  8. Fantastic teamwork, Steve!

    Sheila T Illustrated

    March 9, 2012 at 9:42 PM

  9. Hi

    Steve I love this shot it is so dramatic. You really captured the texture of the leaf and the greens and the yellow with the green background make for a lovely compostion.



    March 10, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    • I’m pleased that you see this image as dramatic, Guy. I was taken with that view of the yucca too.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 10, 2012 at 5:03 PM

  10. […] ‘living or growing on rocks.’ (It was the plant called twistleaf yucca, which appeared recently in my other blog and whose botanical name is Yucca rupicola, that got me thinking about these words. That endemic […]

  11. […] December 17th I found this tiny grasshopper nymph on the blade of a twistleaf yucca, Yucca rupicola. I’m not sure, but the insect may be Chortophaga viridifasciata, the northern […]

  12. […] an abstract and minimalist closeup of twistleaf yucca, Yucca rupicola. In a photograph posted two years ago today I played up the characteristic way the leaves of this species twist, but what caught my attention […]

  13. […] yucca, Yucca rupicola, that I photographed in Leander on June 1st. In a post from 2012 I offered up a visual confirmation of the name twistleaf, but today is the first time you’re getting a detailed look at the flowers of that species, […]

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