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YUCCA filamentosa

Image of Yucca filamentosa

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Agavaceae

Botanical Name

YUCCA filamentosa

Plant Common Name

Adam's Needle

General Description

The landscape-worthy Adam's needle is certainly the most cultivated of all Yucca species. A widespread native of the eastern United States, it forms bold, dense clusters of long, sharp leaves that look super all season long. In the summer, large spikes of showy ivory flowers are produced. Wild plants are most commonly found growing in open, upland forests and prairies where the soil is often sandy.

Adam’s needle forms large, spiky rosettes of long, sword-shaped leaves. These range in color from medium green to gray or blue-green. Mature clumps will form offsets to create slowly spreading colonies. Tall flower stalks are produced in late=spring to summer. These are lined with ivory, bell-shaped blooms that are fragrant and pollinated at night by yucca moths. The blooms are followed by bulbous, green seed capsules that turn dry and dark brown when mature.

Full sun and well-drained, average to poor, sandy loam are best for this resilient plant, and little care and maintenance are needed to keep it performing well. Established plants are tolerant of heat and harsh sun. Adam's needle looks great planted in masses in dry, sunny beds and borders, and its coarse, upright foliage is highly deer resistant.

There are many Adam’s needle cultivars, many being beautifully variegated. Some finer selections include yhe gold-edged ‘Bright Edge’ and ivory and green ‘Variegata.’ Adam’s needle is the larval host for the yucca giant-skipper and cofaqui giant-skipper butterflies.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, 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

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, North-Central United States, Central United States, South-Central United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Salt, Soil Compaction

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Brown, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Edging, Feature Plant, Foundation, Groundcover, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No