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Yucca rupicola (Twistleaf yucca)
Lytle, Melody

Yucca rupicola

Yucca rupicola Scheele

Twistleaf Yucca, Twisted-leaf Yucca, Texas Yucca, Spanish Dagger

Agavaceae (Century-Plant Family)

Synonym(s): Yucca tortifolia

USDA Symbol: yuru

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

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.


From the Image Gallery

27 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: Denticulate
Leaf Apex: Acuminate
Leaf Base: Truncate
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 2 feet tall not in bloom. Up to about 6 feet tall in bloom.
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

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: Kendall's yucca skipper
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: Moderate

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Patsy Glenn Refuge, c/o Wimberley Birding Society - Wimberley, TX
NPSOT - Native Plant Society of Texas - Fredericksburg, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Fredericksburg Chapter - Fredericksburg, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
Jacob's Well Natural Area - Wimberley, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1103 Collected 2007-09-15 in Blanco County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

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


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 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 281 - Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (1999) Diggs, G. M.; B. L. Lipscomb; B. O'Kennon; W. F...
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1993 VOL. 10, NO.6 - Saving Trees and Plants at New Center Site a Big Job, Director's Report, Wildflo...

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-09-08
Research By: LAL, GAP, JSC

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