Yucca flaccida

Adam's needle

  • © www.wikipedia.org/William Avery

Outstanding Qualities

This evergreen woody shrub has a strong architectural quality not often found in our Northwest gardens. Its sharp-tipped, sword-shaped leaves stand out in a spiky sphere and make a strong statement in any border or specimen planting. The long slender foliage often bends or slightly droops in the center, giving the plant its botanical name, Yucca flaccida. Once yuccas mature, tall flower spikes that can reach 6 feet or more carry dozens of pendulous, lantern-shaped creamy white flowers in mid-to-late summer. Yuccas are extremely easy to grow and adapt to most soils so long as there is good drainage.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: vase-shaped shrub

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 5 ft. 0 in. (1.52 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 5 ft. 0 in. (1.52 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 5 ft. 0 in. (1.52 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 5 ft. 0 in. (1.52 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 9

Flower Color: cream

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: drought tolerant once established

Seasonal Interest: summer flowers, year around foliage

Wildlife Associations: bees, hummingbirds

Resistant to: deer

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Consider using this yucca in containers where its unique texture can create dramatic contrast to other plantings. Its textural qualities also contrast beautifully when planted with sedums, low growing ornamental grasses, hebes, or rockrose.

Great Color Contrasts: gold, burgundy, variegated

Great Color Partners: blue, dark green, chartreuse

Culture Notes
Yuccas adapt well to most garden soils. This plant prefers a well-drained or sandy soil but is tolerant of clay and is very drought tolerant once established. The best growth and flowering occur in full sun. Although it will tolerate light or open shade, it is less likely to flower. Once established, yearly removal of the oldest, dead or damaged leaves in the fall or winter is recommended. The rosettes of foliage that flower will die after the bloom fades, but new side pups quickly re-sprout to form new plants.