Yucca rostrata 'Sapphire Skies'
Common Name: yucca 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Asparagaceae
Zone: 5 to 10
Height: 5.00 to 12.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 8.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to August
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful, Evergreen
Attracts: Hummingbirds
Other: Thorns
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Best grown in rocky, dry, well-draining soils in full sun. Once established, only occasional summer irrigation is required during periods of drought. The brown, dry leaves that accumulate on the trunk of the plant can be removed or left on to add texture. Hardy in Zones 5-10. Easily propagated by removing offshoots.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Yucca rostrata, commonly called beaked yucca or Big Bend yucca, is a large, slow-growing, trunk-forming yucca native to the Big Bend region of southern Texas and northern Mexico. The narrow, sword-shaped, bluish-green leaves can reach up to 2' long and form a globe-like rosette on the tops of the stems. The leaves are armed with terminal spines, but are not as stiff and formidable as those of other species of tree yuccas such as Y. rigida. Individuals can reach up to 12' tall, and some form multiple, branched rosettes with age. Flowering stalks emerge in late spring into summer from mature rosettes, bearing clusters of creamy white blooms that attract hummingbirds.

Genus name comes from the Carbi name for manihot, also called cassava or yuca, which is not closely related but has similarly enlarged root structures.

The specific epithet rostrata means beaked, possibly in reference to the floral structure of this species.

'Sapphire Skies' shares similar characteristics to those of the species. It is distinguished by a more silvery blue tone to the leaves.


No major pest or disease problems. This plant is resistant to rabbits and deer. Do not plant in poorly drained soil.


Use as a striking focal point or accent plant in rock or gravel gardens, xeriscaping, and formal mixed borders. Also does well in a container. Although the leaves pose less of a threat than other species of tree yucca, it is still recommended to avoid planting near walkways, driveways, sidewalks, and other highly trafficked areas.