Yucca baccata Torr.
Banana Yucca, Blue Yucca, Fleshy-fruited Yucca, Datil
Agavaceae (Century-Plant Family)
Synonym(s): Yucca baccata var. baccata, Yucca baccata var. vespertina, Yucca confinis, Yucca vespertina
USDA Symbol: YUBA
This yucca usually occurs as a single, stemless plant but sometimes grows in clumps with short, reclining stems. The narrow, spine-tipped leaves are up to 30 in. long and occur in an open cluster which is often wider than the leaves are high. The flowering stem is up to 40 in. tall and bears large, pendant, fleshy, white flowers with a red-purple tinge. Fruits are fleshy and banana-shaped. Rigid, spine-tipped leaves in 1 or several rosettes, and a long cluster of large whitish flowers on a stalk about as tall as the leaves.
Identification of the many Yucca species is often difficult. Those with broad leaves are sometimes called Spanish Daggers, a name generally applied to the tree-like species of western Texas. Plain Identification of the many Yucca species is often difficult. Those with broad leaves are sometimes called Spanish Daggers, a name generally applied to the tree-like species of western Texas. Plains Yucca (Y. glauca), common from the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains eastward almost throughout the plains and prairies of the central United States, is a small species with narrow, gray-green leaves.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Berry
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul
DistributionUSA: AZ , CA , CO , NM , NV , TX , UT
Native Distribution: Edwards Plateau & Trans-Pecos, TX to s. UT, s. CA & adjacent Mex.
Native Habitat: Dry plains; hilly grasslands
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Dry, rocky or sandy soils.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Fruits attract birds, deer and insects.
Use Food: The baked fruit of Banana Yucca tastes somewhat like sweet potato. Yucca flowers are still eaten by Mexican Indians to such an extent that some species now rarely show mature pods.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
PropagationDescription: Yuccas will germinate promptly from fresh seed held over winter. Seeds germinate best in 60-70 degree temperatures. Yuccas may also be grown from rhizomes, stem cuttings, or by digging offsets from the side of established plants. Transplant into a well
Seed Collection: Gather capsules as they begin to dry but before they split. Allow to dry, then crush to remove seeds. Overwinter, keep seeds in moist sand in the refrigerator. For longer storage periods, keep in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Yucca baccata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Yucca baccata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Yucca baccata
MetadataRecord Modified: 2010-05-16
Research By: TWC Staff