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Yucca baccata (Banana yucca)
Flaigg, Norman G.

Yucca baccata

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

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

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

18 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Berry
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

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


USA: 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 Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Dry, rocky or sandy soils.


Use 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


Description: 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 Directory

According 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


Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2010-05-16
Research By: TWC Staff

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