Content Detail

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 a cluster of white, bell-shaped flowers.

  • Family (English) Agave
  • Family (botanic) Agavaceae
  • Tree or plant type Perennial, Shrub
  • Foliage Evergreen (foliage year-round)
  • Native locale North America
  • Size range Large plant (more than 24 inches), Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Acid soil, Alkaline soil, Dry soil, Moist, Sandy soil, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, clay soil, Dry sites, Occasional drought, Road salt
  • Season of interest early winter, midwinter, late winter, midsummer, late summer
  • Flower color and fragrance White
  • Shape or form Upright
  • Growth rate Slow

Native geographic location and habitat:

Yucca is native to the southeastern United States 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: 

Yucca has a basal rosette of rigid, sword-shaped, spine-tipped green leaves 2 to 3 feet long. The leaf margins  have long filament 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 terminal panicles of nodding, bell-shaped, creamy white flowers.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

The fruit is a large, elliptical, dehiscent capsule.


Plant care:

A stemless, broadleaf evergreen perennial or shrub that performs best in well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Yucca is tolerant of poor sandy soils and drought conditions. It has a deep taproot and is difficult to transplant. The flower stalk should be removed after flowering. It can remain unsightly for two to three years.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

There are no serious pest or disease problems. Yucca is resistant to black walnut toxicity. It is also tolerant of rabbit, deer, drought, erosion, dry soil, shallow, rocky soil, air pollution.


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