Yucca 'Bright Star'
This is an arresting variegated Yucca, a variation on Yucca recurvifolia, and a favorite plant of mine. Bright indeed, much brighter and more striking than 'Color Guard'. 'Color Guard' is medium green striped with yellow; 'Bright Star' is pale yellow striped with pale green. Like I said, visually arresting.
'Color Guard' in front, more green and taller and faster and puppier than 'Bright Star'.
I still remember the large three-gallon sized 'Bright Star' we saw, but did not buy, at the Calistoga hardware store on our trip to Napa last fall. Those Ones We Didn't Buy--we never forget them, do we? I already had a 'Bright Star' at home and knew I shouldn't indulge in another, even though it was a prime, prime specimen. Three gallon size, reasonable price, looked totally healthy...like I said, we don't forget the Ones We Didn't Buy. However, a month or so later, I was somewhere--Armstrongs? Rogers? and there was a ratty one for half off, or 75% off, or something. Then there were two 'Bright Stars'. I pulled off all the dead foliage, the remainder, given water, immediately prospered. Out of the squalid pot it was crammed in, and planted near the first, it brightened right up.
In cold weather, the foliage pinks:
Still, I was rewarded further: a recent expedition for elfin thyme, and there were two 'Bright Star's sitting there, a screaming deal at $11.98 each, one third the price I've seen elsewhere. They'd obviously been sitting there for quite some time because they were both frothing with severe cases of Oxalis, and the Solierolia soleirolii their pots were sitting on had grown up around them. I'm convinced they had been waiting for me all this time, growing oxalis in order to put off everyone else. Maybe Yuccas are like dogs: they know when you love them.
I'm trying to plant groups of the same plant so I appear to know something about design. Most people are not fooled:
On the slope, I made a giant check mark out of Yuccas. Oh dear!
'Bright Star's sole drawback is that it grows very slowly, not untypical for highly variegated, pale foliage. Very, very, slowly. New foliage appears about now, in late spring. For the rest of the year, the plant sits, looking pretty, but exhibiting no more growth than a plant made of plastic. A wonderful plant. I recommend it with enthusiasm, and you won't have to worry for a single moment about it out-growing whatever spot you give it for a long, long time.
The heart of brightness:
The elfin thyme store is what most garden centers used to be: plants for sale sit until they either die or someone buys them. No "death rack" here. No move-them-fast-sell-or-trash. There are enormous old plants growing that have been growing there for decades.--the pot long ago fell apart and the plant simply grew into the ground (ground, not concrete) and then prospered. They also propagates some of their own stock right there in the back of the property. Imagine that! It's a reminder of a less cut-throat time. The place is a bit scruffy here and there, metal rusting, paint peeling. But also moss on concrete--a wonderful patina of age. It's a place you can slow down in, and be charmed by. You are not hustled in and out with overly cheerful music and carefully designed traffic flow patterns.
We need not always be in a rush. Maybe 'Bright Star' has it right. Life is short, but it's not that short.
In the meantime, Y. linearfolia is doing things It has produced a tiny pup. Ooooh!
Something prime to trade for something equally prime, in time, or a companion for the original. I did decide to plant multiples of the same plant, didn't I? Another new development: the perfect foliar symmetry is gone--what's up with the tangle? I keep expecting a flower stalk, but nothing so far. Head scratcher.