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Yucca treculeana (Spanish dagger)
Page, Lee

Yucca treculeana

Yucca treculeana Carrière

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

Agavaceae (Century-Plant Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

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.


From the Image Gallery

63 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

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: Entire
Leaf Apex: Acuminate
Leaf Base: Truncate
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Capsule
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

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, Strecker's giant skipper.
Deer Resistant: High

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
Texas Master Naturalists - Lost Pines Chapter - Bastrop, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1268 Collected 2009-05-18 in Starr County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.
Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 354 - Native & Naturalized Woody Plants of Austin & the Hill Country (1981) Lynch, D.
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Bibref 297 - Trees of Central Texas (1984) Vines, Robert A.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Yucca treculeana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Yucca treculeana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Yucca treculeana


Record Modified: 2022-07-08
Research By: LAL, JSC

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