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TREES & plants

Yucca

Yucca is a drought-tolerant shrub with stemless, stiff evergreen leaves that end in a narrow point. In late spring a 3- to 6-foot stalk appears with cluster of white, bell-shaped flowers.
Botanical name: 
Yucca filamentosa
All Common Names: 
yucca, Adam's needle yucca, Adam's needle, Spanish bayonet
Family (English): 
Agave
Family (Botanic): 
Agavaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Perennial, 
  • Shrub
Foliage: 
  • Evergreen (foliage year-round)
Native Locale: 
  • North America
Landscape Uses: 
  • Container, 
  • Foundation, 
  • Mixed border, 
  • Patio/sidewalk, 
  • Specimen
Size Range: 
  • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet), 
  • Large plant (more than 24 inches)
Mature Height: 
2 to 3 feet high
Mature Width: 
2 to 3 feet wide
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 4, 
  • Zone 5 (Chicago), 
  • Zone 6, 
  • Zone 7, 
  • Zone 8
Soil Preference: 
  • Acid soil, 
  • Alkaline soil, 
  • Dry soil, 
  • Moist, well-drained soil, 
  • Sandy soil
Acid Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Alkaline Soils: 
  • Prefers
Salt Spray: 
  • Tolerant
Soil Salt: 
  • Tolerant
Drought Conditions: 
  • Prefers
Poor Drainage: 
  • Intolerant
Planting Considerations: 
  • Dangerous thorns
Ornamental Interest: 
  • Summer blossoms, 
  • Showy fruit, 
  • Showy flowers
Season of Interest: 
  • Early winter, 
  • Mid winter, 
  • Late winter, 
  • Mid summer, 
  • Late summer
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • White
Shape or Form: 
  • Upright
Growth Rate: 
  • Slow
More Information: 

Tree & Plant Care

A stem-less, broadleaf evergreen perennial or shrub.
Best in well-drained soil in full sun to part shade.
Tolerant of poor sandy soils. and drought conditions.
Yuccas has a deep taproot and is difficult to transplant.
The flower stalk should be removed after flowering. It can remain unsightly for 2 to 3 years.

Disease, pests, and problems

None serious

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Resistant to black walnut toxicity.
Tolerant of rabbit, deer, drought, erosion, dry soil, shallow, rocky soil, air pollution

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to SE U.S.. along beaches, sand dunes and fields from South Carolina south to Florida and Mississippi.

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife

Butterflies are attracted to the flowers.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Basal rosette of rigid, sword-shaped, spine-tipped green leaves 2 to 3 feet long. 
The leaf margins  have long filamentous curly threads.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

A 5 to 8 feet high flower stalk rises from the center of each rosette in late spring bearing a terminal panicles of nodding bell-shaped creamy white flowers.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Fruit is a large, elliptical dehiscent capsule.

Yucca filamentosa or Yucca