Mystery plant 003

Distributed throughout the eastern and central states of the U.S., this plant needs identification.

When you can identify it, please post both the common and scientific names in your comment below. Also, feel free to add any stories of personal experiences you may have had with this plant.


Close view of leaves


Young plant


Medium range view of leaves


Close view of flower


Flower cluster


Flower stalk


Entire plant with flowering stalk


ANSWER (subsequently added to this post to facilitate the “search” function for these images):  Adam’s needle (Yucca filamentosa)

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9 Responses to Mystery plant 003

  1. Linda B says:

    I knew it almost immediately by the strings that hang off the ‘leaves’. They are more like spears and I have 6 of these beautiful plants in my yard. When they flower the flower spikes are taller than me. The mystery plant is Yucca .. commonly called ‘Candles of Heaven’.

  2. Linda B says:

    Latin ….. Yucca filamentosa

  3. Claire says:

    I agree with Linda….. Yucca filamentosa (had to look up the Latin name)….. and I recognize this plant from years of living out west…..and from a plant identification walk with a certain very skilled friend 🙂

  4. Angelyn says:

    Linda B correctly identified Yucca filamentosa. It also has a common name of “Adam’s Needle.” Well done, Linda!

    I have always been intrigued by this plant which looks like it should be growing in a western desert. And yet it’s native to the eastern and central U.S.

  5. Sharon Rufledt says:

    We live in Rapid City, SD. I purchased a candle of heaven plant many years ago from a mail order catalog. It bloomed in 1981, 1990, 2008 and is blooming again this year (2013) with 3 tall stalks full of flowers. Each time it blooms I take a picture with the kids or grandkids so have a record of it. How often should it bloom or has bloomed for others? Also, I know it is also called a yucca plant but I grew up in Nebr. where the yucca plants are prolific and this does not resemble a true yucca plant. Also, the flowers on my stalks hang down like bells and do not point up like on a yucca plant. Does anyone have any additional information on this plant?

    • Angelyn says:

      Sharon, you’ve asked some great questions. The plant pictured here is definitely a “yucca” plant with the scientific name of Yucca filamentosa. I’ve seen the plants bloom every year here (in western NC). I suspect the infrequency of your plant flowering may be due to different weather and climate conditions. For another image of the flowers of Yucca filamentosa, go to this link which shows the flowers pointing every which way:

      Since you purchased your plant from a mail order catalog, it’s possible that it is some type of hybridized yucca which may account for the different blooming periods and/or the way the flowers hang down like bells.

      Lastly, you might want to peruse this page which gives an overview of many species of Yucca:

      • Sharon Rufledt says:

        Thank you Angelyn and all else who answered my request on the candle of heaven plant. After looking at the links you sent, I could identify mine as a ‘yucca aloifolia – Vittoria Emanuele 11’ as looked just like the picture so is indeed a hybrid. Another question – does anyone know if more plants can be started from the seeds in the seed pods? And if so, how? Let the seed pods completely dry out and than try and plant?

  6. travis says:

    Luv yalls post.I’m also intrigued with these plants.but there is also another similar one that is shorter and looks just like a candle kinda orange fading into red.any idea what it is?Thanks

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