Yucca elephantipes
Common Name: Spineless yucca
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Asparagaceae
Native Range: Mexico to Guatemala
Zone: 9 to 10
Height: 15.00 to 30.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 25.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought, Air Pollution

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 9-10. In the St. Louis area, this plant must be grown as a container plant. It may be set outside during the summer months, but must be brought indoors prior to the first fall frost. The size of the container will affect the size of the plant. Grow in a well-drained sandy soil mix in full sun to part shade. Water pots regularly, but allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Tolerant of drought. During indoor winter months, reduce watering to the minimum (i.e., keep soils dry with only enough water to prevent plant foliage depreciation).

Noteworthy Characteristics

Yucca elephantipes, commonly called spineless yucca or giant yucca, is native to Mexico where it may grow somewhat tree-like to 30 feet tall with a trunk that thickens and roughens with age. This is considered to be the tallest of the yuccas. It lacks spines typical of most yuccas hence the common name. Plants may be grown in the ground in landscapes in the U.S. only in Zones 9 and above. Plants feature narrow, sword-shaped, blue-green leaves (to 3” wide) that may reach as much as 4 feet in length on mature plants. Leaves appear in spiral rosettes. White flowers appear on stalks above the foliage in spring or summer. Container plants grow much smaller, however, and often will not produce any flowers.

Genus name comes from the Carbi name for manihot or cassava, which is not closely related.

Specific epithet means like an elephant's foot.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Absence of spines makes this an attractive and “user-friendly” container plant for the St. Louis area. Where it may be grown outside year round, spineless yucca may be used along walkways or as large accents in the landscape.