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Yucca flaccida is often confused with:
Yucca filamentosa Form in bloom
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Viola sororia Viola papilionacea
Yucca rostrata Asparagales Yucca rostrata
Yucca harrimaniae Yucca harrimaniae

Yucca flaccida

Previously known as:

  • Yucca concava
  • Yucca filamentosa L. var. concava
  • Yucca filamentosa var. smalliana
  • Yucca smalliana
Phonetic Spelling
YUK-ah FLA-sih-dah
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

This evergreen shrub that is native to portions of the southeastern US produces rosettes of spear-shaped leaves from stems that are typically emerging from under the soil surface.  Grows best in poor, dry, sandy loam or rocky soil, but will adapt to other soils.  Its natural habitat includes prairies, light woodlands and at the edges of forests.

It is pollinated by white Yucca moths who are attracted to the fragrant flowers.  The female moths feed on the nectar, rolls pollen from the flowers into a ball 3 times the size of her head, then transfers the pollen to the next flower.  She will lay her eggs on the stigma, then deposit the pollen. The larvae mature prior to all the seeds being consumed, leaving viable seeds.  

This shrub forms suckers that can form small colonies.  

The fruit, flowers, and stem from this plant are each edible, both raw or cooked.  The stem can be eaten like asparagus.  The flower is edible raw or can be dried, crushed and used as a flavoring.  The roots contain saponins, which is poisonous.  Saponins have a bitter taste and are not absorbed by the human body, so most will pass without causing harm.  They are removed from the roots by leaching in running water.  Changing the water at least once during the process.  This will remove the majority of the saponins.  

Fiber from the leaves can be used for producing baskets, ropes or mats.  

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  Does not grow well in locations with moist climates.  

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Sentry'
    Evergreen with blue-green foliage.
  • 'Color Guard'
    Variegated foliage.
  • 'Garland's Gold'
    Green and yellow foliage, variegated.
  • 'Golden Sword'
    Bold, arching striped leaves
  • 'Gold Heart'
    Variegated foliage. Rich yellow center with dark green margins.
  • 'Ivory'
    Variegated foliage.
'Blue Sentry', 'Color Guard', 'Garland's Gold', 'Golden Sword', 'Gold Heart', 'Ivory'
Tags:
#evergreen#drought tolerant#perennial#wildlife plant#moths#edible flowers#cpp#deer resistant#pollinator plant#edible leaves#larval host plant#edible#moth larvae#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#stemless
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Sentry'
    Evergreen with blue-green foliage.
  • 'Color Guard'
    Variegated foliage.
  • 'Garland's Gold'
    Green and yellow foliage, variegated.
  • 'Golden Sword'
    Bold, arching striped leaves
  • 'Gold Heart'
    Variegated foliage. Rich yellow center with dark green margins.
  • 'Ivory'
    Variegated foliage.
'Blue Sentry', 'Color Guard', 'Garland's Gold', 'Golden Sword', 'Gold Heart', 'Ivory'
Tags:
#evergreen#drought tolerant#perennial#wildlife plant#moths#edible flowers#cpp#deer resistant#pollinator plant#edible leaves#larval host plant#edible#moth larvae#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#stemless
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Yucca
    Species:
    flaccida
    Family:
    Asparagaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Wildlife Value:
    White Yucca moths feed on the nectar, pollinate the flowers. The caterpillars feed on the immature seeds. The flowers also attract bees, butterflies and birds.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Textural
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Edibility:
    The roots are harvested for saponins. The fruit, flowers and stems are edible.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
    Appendage:
    Prickles
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Very Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is a dry, oblong capsule.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    A showy 3-8' flower stalk with a loose cluster of bell-shaped flowers.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Sword-like leaves; 1-1.7 ft. long; bends downward; thread-like fibers on margin. The outer leaves are recurved, or bending back on itself, leading to a floppy appearance.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    The stems are subterranean, forming under the earth surface.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Patio
    Vertical Spaces
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Mass Planting
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Poor Soil
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Dogs, cats: Vomiting; Horses: liver disease, dermatitis
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Saponins
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Roots