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

 Native Plant Database

Yucca rupicola

Twistleaf yucca, Twisted-leaf yucca, Texas yucca

Agavaceae (Century-Plant Family)

Yucca rupicola (Twistleaf yucca)
Lytle, Melody
Texas yucca or twisted-leaf yucca foliage stays under 2 ft. tall, is edged with white or red. New leaves are straight but become twisted with age. Flowering stalks often over 5 feet tall, bearing a cluster of bell-shaped, white flowers with petals up to 2 1/2 inches long and an inch wide, appearing from April to June. On shallow, stony soil in fields, among scattered trees, and on canyon ledges.

A single Texas yucca plant will begin as a solitary leaf head but will become an open clump of several leaf heads.

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Lanceolate
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous
Leaf Margin: Denticulate
Leaf Apex: Acuminate
Leaf Base: Truncate
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Size Notes: 1-2 feet.
Leaf: dark-green
Flower: Flower 4-7 cm long. Sepals 4-6.8 cm long/15-24 mm wide. Petals 4-7 cm long
Fruit: Seeds dull black 4-5.5 cm
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Green
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun


Native Distribution: Endemic to the Edwards Plateau, TX
Native Habitat: Dry, rocky, open areas; limestone ledges. mic. On limestone ledges and grass-covered plains of dense brush and open woodlands on the Edwards Plateau. Ende

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Rocky, limestone soils. Caliche type, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Twist-leaf yucca is great to plant in dry, shady spots and shaded rock gardens. The white bell-shaped blossoms atop solitary flower spikes attract night-pollinating moths. The foliage is deer resistant, but they like to eat the blossoms.


Use Ornamental: Accent tree or shrub, Shortgrass meadow, Rock gardens
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Kendalls yucca skipper
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Last Update: 2016-10-13