Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
Forest & Kim Starr
The beautiful banana yucca is tough as nails. This true desert yucca is native to the sizzling badlands of southern California, Nevada, Colorado and Texas where it takes both heat and cold in stride. It is a suckering plant that develops short, trunk-like stems and produces many offsets to create large colonies. Wild populations are most commonly found in dry grasslands.
Banana Yucca has unique panicles of flowers that appear in late spring or early summer. The tall flower stalks become lined with bronze-colored buds that open to ivory. The bell-shaped flowers are pollinated at night by a single species of pronuba moth. The blooms are followed by green seed capsules that turn dry and dark brown when mature. The flowers and fruits are both edible. In fact, the fruits are still roasted and eaten by Native American tribe's people in the southwest and are said to taste like sweet potato. Native Americans also derive soap from this yucca’s roots and use its leaf fibers for basketry.
Full sun and well-drained, average to poor, sandy soil are best for this desert Yucca. It is ideal for dry western landscapes where it will thrive under the harshest of arid conditions. Its asymmetrical growth and sharp appearance make a bold statement in the landscape. The fruits are great for foraging deer and birds.
12 - 5
6 - 11
1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
4'-30' / 1.2m - 9.1m
6'-15' / 1.8m - 4.6m
Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer
Southwestern United States, California
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Clay, Loam, Sand
Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Gray Green, Light Yellow
Light Green, Gray Green
Container, Feature Plant, Groundcover, Mixed Border
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