Beschorneria septentrionalis 'Fairey Christmas'
Great Plant With Really Bad Name
Item #: 2704
Zones: 7b to 10b, at least
Height: 60" tall
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Beschorneria septentrionalis, discovered in 1987, is a little-known North American native agave relative, that hails from the scrubby mountainside shade in Tamaulipas, Mexico. Resembling a cross of an agave with a hosta, Beschorneria septentrionalis forms clumps of large evergreen, non-spiny rosettes to 18" tall x 4' wide. After becoming well established, Beschorneria septentrionalis will produce 5' tall, glossy red flower spikes, adorned with lovely reddish bells with green tips in March/April...sounds perfect for a late Christmas! We find they thrive and flower best with a couple of hours of sun, but no more. Our offerings are from a 1991 John Fairey/Yucca Do seed collection (YD 33-12) at 4,100' elevation.
Beschorneria are low maintenance plants that are stunning in bloom and have a year-round presence in the garden with their rosettes of evergreen foliage. Flower stalks can be removed when they are no longer attractive. Leave them to ripen their fruit if you want to raise more from seed, provided they do set seed. The fruit are about walnut sized and will be evident soon after blooming. As Beschorneria bloom very early in spring it might be necessary to protect the flower stalk if a late frost is expected.
Beschorneria are one of the few "woody lilies" that prefers some shade. It will be happiest if it has less than a half day of sun, or even just very bright shade all day. Very drought tolerant, it also tolerates wet spells if provided with average drainage that would prevent water from puddling around the plant.
The floral display is very dramatic and beautiful with its great arching stems of brightest red from which the green and red flowers dangle. The evergreen foliage is attractive year round, though not tremendously showy.
Beschorneria flowers are very attractive to hummingbirds. Because of the early bloom time, they are especially popular in parts of the country where the hummers live year round. In the eastern US the ruby throated hummingbirds will visit the flowers in years when the blooming corresponds with their arrival.
Leaf Color: Green
Bloom Time: Spring
Container Role: Thrillers
Other: Drought Tolerant Plants , Dry Shade Plants , Endangered Plants , Hummingbird Plants , North American Native Plants , Ornamental Seed or Fruit , RHS Award of Merit Winners , Tropical Looking Plants , Xeriscaping Plants