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Yucca is a drought-tolerant shrub with stemless, stiff evergreen leaves that end in a narrow point. In late spring a 3- to 6-foot stalk appears with cluster of white, bell-shaped flowers.

Botanical name:

Yucca filamentosa

All common names:

Yucca, Adam's needle yucca, Adam's needle, Spanish bayonet

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Perennial,
  • Shrub

Native Locale:

  • North America

Landscape Uses:

  • Container,
  • Foundation,
  • Mixed border,
  • Patio/sidewalk,
  • Specimen

Size Range:

  • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet),
  • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8

Soil Preference:

  • Acid soil,
  • Alkaline soil,
  • Dry soil,
  • Moist, well-drained soil,
  • Sandy soil


  • Dry sites,
  • Occasional drought,
  • Alkaline soil,
  • Clay soil,
  • Road salt

Seasons of Interest:

  • early winter,
  • midwinter,
  • late winter,
  • midsummer,
  • late summer

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • White

Shape or Form:

  • Upright

Growth Rate:

  • Slow

More Information:

Tree & Plant Care

A stem-less, broadleaf evergreen perennial or shrub.
Best in well-drained soil in full sun to part shade.
Tolerant of poor sandy soils. and drought conditions.
Yuccas has a deep taproot and is difficult to transplant.
The flower stalk should be removed after flowering. It can remain unsightly for 2 to 3 years.

Disease, pests, and problems

None serious

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Resistant to black walnut toxicity.
Tolerant of rabbit, deer, drought, erosion, dry soil, shallow, rocky soil, air pollution

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to SE U.S. along beaches, sand dunes and fields from South Carolina south to Florida and Mississippi.

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife

Butterflies are attracted to the flowers.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Basal rosette of rigid, sword-shaped, spine-tipped green leaves 2 to 3 feet long. 
The leaf margins  have long filament curly threads.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

A 5 to 8 feet high flower stalk rises from the center of each rosette in late spring bearing a terminal panicles of nodding bell-shaped creamy white flowers.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Fruit is a large, elliptical dehiscent capsule.

Location of Yucca filamentosa (Yucca) at the Arboretum