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YUCCA glauca

Image of Yucca glauca

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Agavaceae

Botanical Name

YUCCA glauca

Plant Common Name

Soapweed Yucca

General Description

No matter where you live, this yucca is probably cold hardy because it maintains a larger northern geographic distribution than other Yucca species. Soapweed yucca can be found throughout much of the west, from New Mexico and Texas north to the far reaches of Saskatchewan, Canada where it naturally grows in dry plains and sandhills. It was mentioned in the Lewis and Clark journals as being harvested by the Shoshone for soap making, hence the common name "soapweed" yucca. It matures to a modest size and is a very hardy. In fact, it is reported to survive temperatures as low as thirty-five degrees below zero (Fahrenheit) in the northern sand hills and plains.

This yucca forms a nearly stemless, symmetrical rosette of fine-textured, needle-sharp blades. Each rosette produces a tall, unusually narrow flower stalk in summer which bears large, waxy ivory blooms, tinged with rosy pink or green, which are bell-shaped and beautiful. It is pollinated at night by yucca moths, which are lured by the flower’s natural luminescence. The spent flowers turn to brown, capsule-like fruits that burst open to release many flattened seeds.

Asking little more than sun and very well-drained soil, soapweed yucca is a carefree and very rewarding choice for wild and native gardens, western-themed landscapes and as an accent in spare, modern compositions. Its coarse, upright foliage is also highly deer resistant.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 4

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    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, Partial Sun

  • Height

    2'-4' / 0.6m - 1.2m

  • Width

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    North-Central United States, Central United States, South-Central United States, Western United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Light Pink, Rose, Light Green, Ivory

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes