Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Yucca treculeana

Spanish Dagger, Spanish Bayonet, Don Quixote's Lance, Palma Pita, Palma de Datil, Palmito

Agavaceae (Century-Plant Family)

Yucca treculeana (Spanish dagger)
Marcus, Joseph A.
Shrub or small tree with stem unbranched except near the top, and up to 10 or more feet tall. In brushy and open areas. Leaves stiff, sharp pointed, up to 3 feet long by 3 inches wide, in large clumps at the ends of stems or branches, dead ones hanging below the live ones. Flowers white or faintly purplish, in dense, showy clusters rising above the leaves, appearing in March and April. Fruit a capsule up to 4 inches long by 1 inch wide.

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Lanceolate
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous
Leaf Apex: Acuminate
Leaf Base: Truncate
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Leaf: dark green to blue green
Flower: Flower to 4 cm long. Sepals 3-4.5 cm long
Fruit: Seeds dull black 6.5-10 cm
Size Class: 6-12 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Red
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , Dec


Native Habitat: Chaparral & brush country

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: It is said that the Aztecs used to use the leaves of the Spanish Dagger to stab snakebite wounds in their skin in order to help flush out the poison.


Use Ornamental: Blooms ornamental, Accent tree or shrub, Aromatic, Security hedge
Use Wildlife: Nectar-moths, Nesting site.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Yucca giant skipper butterfly, Ursine giant skipper, Streckers giant skipper.
Deer Resistant: High

Last Update: 2015-09-14