Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A closer look at Yucca torreyi

with 20 comments


At Longhorn Cavern State Park on March 17th the Lady Eve found a Yucca torreyi with particularly fresh and photogenic flowers. I carefully reached in over the “bayonets” and made some portraits.


© 2023 Steven Schwartzman





Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 22, 2023 at 4:26 PM

20 Responses

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  1. You are one brave man, those spikes have given me many a bruise! The colours here are incredible, like a dish of peach melba with vanilla ice-cream.


    March 22, 2023 at 7:16 PM

    • I made out fine by slowly and carefully reaching over the top for my pictures. My single mistake was not being careful enough with the leaves down below, one of which jabbed my left knee. Fortunately it wasn’t bad.

      I really appreciated those pastel colors, too, even of they didn’t turn my imagination toward desserts.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 22, 2023 at 7:25 PM

  2. Ooh, I love the contrasting textures, and the colors.


    March 22, 2023 at 7:28 PM

  3. A beauty discovered by another beauty!


    March 22, 2023 at 7:38 PM

  4. They taste like asparagus if you get them soon enough.


    March 22, 2023 at 8:06 PM

    • I believe I’ve heard that. So far I haven’t had the opportunity.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 22, 2023 at 8:43 PM

      • I do not recommend it, since it ruins the spectacular bloom. We did it with the (Hespero)Yucca whipplei while we were starving students. We sliced it into patties and peeled off the exterior.


        March 22, 2023 at 9:13 PM

  5. And there it is: that fabulous bloom. I like the texture as much as the colors: heavy, and a little waxy. It’s a flower perfectly suited to the plant that bears it.


    March 22, 2023 at 9:49 PM

    • Yes, and there it was, too gorgeous to pass up. I believe this is the nicest portrait of yucca flowers I’ve made—certainly of this species, at any rate.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 23, 2023 at 6:57 AM

  6. Quite a party! Beautiful flower and shot; never seen one of these.


    March 23, 2023 at 2:11 AM

    • I like the way you put it: “quite a party.” I hope you’ll be able to come here in the right season one of these days to see this any many other botanical delights.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 23, 2023 at 6:58 AM

  7. What a very good photograph of a very lovely bloom!

    It seems every species of Yucca we have encountered is quite special.

    Wally Jones

    March 23, 2023 at 9:54 AM

    • I don’t find this large yucca in Austin. The drive an hour out of town came at just the right time, as we found out once we were already there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 23, 2023 at 10:59 AM

  8. The only yucca flowers I’ve seen have been all white. Folks here have them in their yards and whenever we visit my sister in law in Bethesda we go by way of the New Jersey Turnpike and in one spot the median is filled with them. Following your link to LBJ it is native only in your part of the country so I guess importing one here would not be a success.

    Steve Gingold

    March 24, 2023 at 1:53 PM

    • The common yucca species in Austin are smaller and have white or off-white flowers. Cream seems to be the basic color of this species’s flowers, judging from the majority of photographs at the Wildflower Center web page. Some of the photographs do show the pink and brown I found on the one at Longhorn Cavern. I don’t know how common that is, nor whether those colors develop after the white ages.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 24, 2023 at 2:52 PM

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