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Yucca harrimaniae

Previously known as:

  • Yucca nana
Phonetic Spelling
YUK-ah HAIR-ih-man-ee-ee
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

This Yucca is native to the southwestern US where it can be found growing on plateaus, on hillsides and rocky outcrops. It can grow in most soils but prefers a sandy-loam location where the plant will be hardier. Full sun is recommended.  It will slowly multiply, forming a colony of a period of time.

The rosettes may grow singularly but form clusters.  They will develop a short trunk.  The foliage is a straight, narrow and curved (Cross-section).  The foliage is green with brown edges.  The brown edges have curly white filaments.

It is pollinated by white Yucca moths.  At nighttime, the flowers attract the female that feeds on the nectar, then collects the pollen into a ball.  She will then transfer that ball to the next flower, where she also lays her eggs and places the pollen.  That will ensure that seeds will form.

The fruit, flowers, and stems are edible.  Peeling the immature fruit will eliminate the bitter skin. The flowers can be eaten raw or dried then crushed to serve as a flavoring.  The white inner portion of the flowering stem can be peeled, cooked and eaten.

Fibers from the leaves is used for making ropes, mats and baskets.  The leaves can be used as a paint brush or broom.  The roots are used to make a soap.

Its evergreen character provides winter interest in the garden.  

This desert shrub will form a deep taproot, over 30" deep.

The species 'harrimaniae' honors Mrs. Mary Harriman, who along with her husband Edward (a railroad tycoon) were philanthropists who funded collection expeditions.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  Does not grow well in moist climates.  It is also cold intolerant.  May be invasive.

The roots contain saponins, which are mildly toxic to humans.  Saponins are not absorbed by the body, they tend to pass through the body without causing issues.  They are destroyed by prolonged heat, such as baking.  Saponins are toxic to some animals.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#succulent#wildlife plant#moths#native perennial#nectar plant#salt tolerant#dwarf#accent plant#cpp#deer resistant#nighttime garden#native garden#cold hardy#cactus#poor soils tolerant#larval host plant#native#dry soils tolerant#compact#moth larvae#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#succulent#wildlife plant#moths#native perennial#nectar plant#salt tolerant#dwarf#accent plant#cpp#deer resistant#nighttime garden#native garden#cold hardy#cactus#poor soils tolerant#larval host plant#native#dry soils tolerant#compact#moth larvae#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Yucca
    Species:
    harrimaniae
    Family:
    Asparagaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southwestern USA
    Distribution:
    AZ, CO, NM, NV, OK, UT
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts yucca moths and butterflies. The larva feed on seeds and adults pollinate the flowers.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 4 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Shrub
    Succulent
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
    Appendage:
    Prickles
    Thorns
  • 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 pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Large seed pods in the form of a dry capsule. The immature fruit can be cooked and consumed. The skin of the fruit has a bitter taste.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Three petaled bell-shaped creamy white-greenish flowers with purplish markings.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    White
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Gray-green to blue-green linear-lanceolate leaves with white filiferous (producing hair)margins up to 12" tall. The leaves have parallel veins, are long, stiff and pointed. The edges are brown with curly white filaments.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    The stem can be peeled and cooked, the inner portion is then eaten.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Edible Garden
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Erosion
    Heat
    Poor Soil
    Salt
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
    Spines/Thorns
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Dogs, cats: Vomiting; Horses: liver disease, dermatitis
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Saponins
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No