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Spanish Dagger Yucca Yucca gloriosa

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
YUK-ah glo-ree-OH-sah
Description

Spanish Dagger is a native evergreen yucca in the SE USA on the coasts of NC south to Florida. It grows as a shrub or small tree and can grow up to 16 feet tall but is relatively slow-growing. The leaves are in a basal rosette on younger plants and are sword-shaped with sharp tips. Eventually, it will develop a woody trunk with a more tree-like form. The plant is heat, humidity, drought and salt tolerant and can tolerate some cold and snow. The large panicles of white bell-shaped flowers are a show-stopper and occur late spring to mid-summer.

It prefers well-drained sandy soils in full sun but tolerates most soils if they are well-drained and some shade. It is often used as a container plant and can be grown as a house plant. It can be used for naturalizing coastal areas, as a barrier, specimen or accent plant. Perfect for the rock or drought-tolerant garden.

Habitat: Dunes, shell middens, also regularly cultivated and often persistent or weakly escaped around old homesites inland

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Variegata'
    Variegated leaves
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#drought tolerant#specimen#moths#edible flowers#salt tolerant#accent plant#cpp#long-lasting flowers#deer resistant#edible fruits#naturalized area#food source winter#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains FAC#bird friendly#food source hard-mast fruit
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Variegata'
    Variegated leaves
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#drought tolerant#specimen#moths#edible flowers#salt tolerant#accent plant#cpp#long-lasting flowers#deer resistant#edible fruits#naturalized area#food source winter#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains FAC#bird friendly#food source hard-mast fruit
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Yucca
    Species:
    gloriosa
    Family:
    Asparagaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Ropes, cloth, baskets, and mats are made from a fiber obtained from the leaves. Roots are sometimes used as a soap substitute.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    SE USA
    Distribution:
    AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC
    Wildlife Value:
    Deer resistant. Attracts the yucca moth for pollination. Also, bees and hummingbirds visit the flowers.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Heat and drought tolerant.
    Edibility:
    Flowers, fruits, roots, and stems are edible. Flowers are tasty raw or cooked, and the stems can be used like asparagus. The roots can be cooked or dried and ground into a powder that can be used to make bread
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 16 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Succulent
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Very Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is a 6-lobed leathery, elongate berry up to 6 inches long from November to December.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    4 in. bell-shaped, pendulous, creamy white flowers tinged red or purple on erect 3 to 8-foot panicle bloom from April to October.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Stiff, straight 1.5 to 2 ft. long by 2.5 inches wide sword-like glaucous green sharp-tipped leaves
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Thick, succulent, green flower stems. Leaf stems thick, green, turning woody
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Border
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Salt