Photo of Yucca schidigera Roezl ex Ortgies
Common Name Mojave Yucca, Spanish Dagger
Latin Name Yucca schidigera
Family Agavaceae
Sunset zones / USDA zones 7-16, 18-24 /
Type / Form Succulent / Medium
Native Habitat Creosote bush scrub below 8,000 feet in southern Mojave Desert
Soil Dry, decomposed granite, sand, clay loam low in organic content, well drained
Water None
Exposure Full sun
Height X Width Maximum 15 X 10 feet with a trunk, usually 5 feet X 4 feet including flower stalk
Protective Mechanism Spines
Leaves Evergreen, stiff and sword-like, numerous at the ends of branches, 12 to 24 inches long, sharp pointed tip, edges fibrous, blue-green to yellow-green, with up-curled edges.
Flowers Bell-shaped, 1 1/2 inch long, creamy white and often purple-tinged, crowded on long stalks on an upright branched cluster 1 1/2 feet tall, appearing in spring to early summer. Fruit green changing to dark brown capsule, 3 to 4 inches long, 1 inch in diameter, 6 celled, initially fleshy and becoming leathery, maturing late summer.
Bark / Roots Gray-brown, initially covered with brown dead leaves, later irregularly rough and scaly to ridged.
Maintenance Low
Propagation Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. Pre-soaking the seed for 24 hours in warm water may reduce the germination time. It usually germinates within 1 - 12 months if kept at a temperature of 20c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for at least their first two winters. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer and consider giving them some winter protection for at least their first winter outdoors - a simple pane of glass is usually sufficient. Root cuttings in late winter or early spring. Lift in April/May and remove small buds from base of stem and rhizomes. Dip in dry wood ashes to stop any bleeding and plant in a sandy soil in pots in a greenhouse until established.
Pests and diseases  
Landscape uses Erosion control, rock garden, low maintenance
Garden Suitability Songbird, Moonlight, Ethnobotanical
Nature Value Seeds eaten by many animals, larval plant for butterflies
Native American Uses Rope, sandals, stems and fruits eaten, roots used for soap, leaves used in basketry
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