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Banana Yucca

Yucca baccata

Details & Attributes


Plant Type(s) Succulent, perennial
Native to Arizona Yes!
Water Needs Low
Sun Full sun
Pollinators Moths
Has Spines No
Size
In relative feet, width by height
3' × 4-6' (var. baccata) 3-5 × 4-8 (var. brevifolia)
Freeze Tolerant No
Flowering Season April-July
Flower Color White
Minimum Temperature Range -20 °F
Leaf Description Stiff, pointed, with curly hairs on margins
Fruit Fleshy fruit with flat seeds
View on SEINet View SEINet Entry
Range Map View SEINet Range Map
Elevation Range 3000-8000 ft.
Ethnobotany Used as a shampoo, as an antiemetic to prevent vomiting, for heartburn, as a cathartic, in childbirth, ceremonially, and as a drink. The fruits were roasted and eaten, as well as eaten raw, boiled, or baked, pulverized and dried in cakes; its use as a food is extensive throughout the region. Used for making fibers, rope, mats, sandals, and baskets; used also as an ingredient in dyes.
Description Banana yucca is a fantastic landscaping succulent which will work in low-high elevation gardens. There are a couple varieties in Arizona and the provenance of the seed will play a role in determining frost/heat tolerance. Plants in the northern part of the state are var. baccata which tends to be stocky, lacking a distinct trunk. Plants from the Southern part of the state are var. brevifolia which develops a short trunk and can have many individual heads. Leaves are stiff and bayonet-like with curly fibers along the margins. The flower stalks have white, bell shaped blooms which become fleshy fruits. These plants make a good specimen in a succulent garden or a mixed dry landscape.