Yucca baccata-Banana Yucca
This relatively small
yucca has a large range occurring over most of the southwestern
U.S. and northern Mexico. Yucca baccata may be
found as a single trunk specimen or in clumps of up to ten
trunks. Among the various subspecies one may find plants
that reach up to 8 feet tall with several trunks or others that
are relatively short with a dense cluster of leaves.
Foliage color may vary considerably as well, from gray-green to
blue-green. The leaves are 16"-32" long and
1"-2" wide, and have curly filaments on the margins
giving a distinctive appearance. The flowers occur in late
spring and early summer. White to cream bell shaped
flowers, some with reddish fringes, occur on 3 foot tall spikes.
The fleshy fruit that follows is edible and was a food source
for Native Americans. This plant is very tough and
durable, capable of withstanding extremes in heat and cold and
will withstand drought for long periods, although some
supplemental water provides superior performance. Plant in
full sun or partial shade with good drainage. Hardy to at
least -20°F. USDA Zone 5.