15 Different Types of Yucca Trees

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By Bryan Peters

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Usually, yucca plants are grown for their long and spiky leaves that grow on top of thick and woody stems—many species of this fantastic plant are ideal for gardens and landscapes.

Yucca plants have a striking appearance like palm trees, and if you decide to grow them in your gardens or backyard, they can give the environment a tropical look.

You can refer to yucca as a type of cacti, but they are perennial evergreen shrubs and trees belonging to the family Asparagaceae. There are almost 50 species of these fantastic plants; stick with us as we go through some of the different types of yucca trees.

Different Types of Yucca Trees

Here are some types of yucca plants below:

1. Adams Needle and Thread Yucca (Yucca Filamentosa)

Adam needle is a well-known yucca plant species that provide a dramatic tall stalk. The panicle of this specie has a massive cluster of white flowers that sometimes reach up to 8ft tall. This plant has a sword-shaped leave that can grow up to three meters tall.

A feature mostly used to identify the Adams needle and thread yucca plants is the thin filaments found under their foliage. This thread-like growth on the plant is why the yucca plant has the botanical name filamentosa, and its commonly used name is needle or thread.

See Also: How To Save a Dying Yucca Plant

2. Adams Needle

The Adams needle, also known as the yucca color guard, is a particular type of filamentosa with yellow and green variegated leaves identified as the yucca variables.

You’ll also notice that this plant has its foliage growing in a rosette form and a distinctive curly thread that makes the leaves pinker, and then during the winter, it becomes rose-colored.

The variegated Adams needle grows to a height of about 2-3 ft with the same width, and a large cluster of the whitish flower appears on a long stalk in the middle of June.

This sun-loving yucca plant thrives best in sandy soil and is an ideal border shrub as its sharp leaves deter intruders or even animals like deer.

3. Spineless Yucca (Yucca Gigantea)

The spineless yucca is also known as yucca elephantipes. This specie of yucca plant can grow up to 40 ft tall and produce trunks topped with rosettes of spineless, narrow leaves. Spineless yucca has an edible flower used throughout El Salvador, where people consider it a national flower.

The spineless yucca is native to Central America and is an excellent plant for a beautiful landscaping effect.

Another unique part is that no matter how big this plant grows, it is straightforward for you to care for. The larger ones can be grown outdoors in zones ten and above, and the younger ones can be grown indoors.

4. Beaked Yucca (Yucca Rostrata)

The beaked yucca is made from narrow blue-green leaves that cluster around to look like pom poms. While these leaves start as a rosette in the ground, they grow atop a trunk. This plant is native to southern Texas and northern Mexico.

You can decide to either grow this plant outside or inside as a houseplant. The beaked yucca can be grown outside in zones ranging from 5-11 and inside your houses, either inside a flower pot or a container.

These plants can grow up to 15′ tall when left outdoors, but it would also take about 9-10 years before they can reach this height.

5. Spanish Dagger (Yucca Gloriosa)

Spanish dagger can grow as a large shrub or a small tree and is native to the southeast united states. It has long and green leaves with sharp tips, and for its amazingly stripy nature, you can use the leaves of this tree to make ropes, clothes, and other materials.

Yucca gloriosa can be grown outdoors in zones 7-11 and salty coastal areas. This plant also does well as an indoor houseplant as it can grow up to 15′ indoors even if it has a slow growth rate and can take up to 10 years to get to its height.

See Also: How Often to Water Yucca Plants?

6. Aloe Yucca (Yucca Aloifolia)

The aloe yucca is also known as the Spanish bayonet and is native to the sandy areas in the eastern united states like Mexico and parts of the Caribbean.

Some people plant it to serve as a living fence in warmer regions. The trunk of this plant is clustered with thin leaves with a very sharp margin and tip, and like all yucca species, it would produce a panicle of white flowers.

You can decide to grow this plant outdoors in zones 6 and 11, and it can be grown indoors too, but in this case, it is unlikely to flower.

7. Joshua Tree (Yucca Brevifolia)

you can find the Joshua tree throughout most national parks, which go by the same name. Joshua’s tree has thick trunks and branches and a cluster of pointed green leaves that sits at the top of each department. The Joshua tree can be grown up to 50 ft tall, but it usually stays smaller.

The primary requirements for its growth are outside zones 6-10, in sandy soil, and under the sun. You can start by growing these plants in containers indoors, but as time goes on, you would need to transplant them outside because they thrive better there.

These plants also have low maintenance costs if grown in the right environment.

8. Banana Yucca (Yucca Baccata)

Unlike most species of yucca, the banana yucca has soft and fleshy fruits that look like bananas except that they are short but also green. These fruits from the tree are pounded and used to make sun-dried cakes in Mexican and Native American loaves of bread.

This plant has a rosette of blue and green leaves on the ground or the top of shorter stalks. You can plant the banana yucca outside in zones 6-11, d they also fit perfectly in areas that need little heightened plants.

9. Soapweed Yucca Plant (Yucca Glauca)

Soapweed yucca plants grow in the shape that resembles a sphere and has narrow and sharp leaves that can grow up to two feet long. This plant is native to central North America and can be found in areas like Alberta, Dakota, and Texas.

 This specie is extremely cold tolerant and can be planted in zones 4-9. When placed in the right environment, it is effortless to care for these plants since they can survive drought and col, but it also does not do well in coastal areas.

10. Soap Tree Yucca (Yucca eleta)

The soap tree yucca starts as a shrub first before it starts growing into a tree starting with its trunk, and when it starts growing, it can grow up to 12 ft tall. This plant is native to the southwestern part of the United States and the northern part of Mexico.

It can be grown outdoors in zones 6-11 but isn’t recommended for indoor growth. The plant or tree gets its name from the interior, which Is the trunk and root, which contains a soap-like substance that Zuni uses to make soap.

See Also: Common Indoor Yucca Plant Problems

Some other fantastic yucca tree varieties are the following;

  1. Pale-leaf yucca 9 yucca pallida)
  2. Giant white yucca (yucca faxoniana)
  3. Mountain yucca (yucca x schottii)/
  4. Thompson’s yucca (yucca thompsoniana)
  5. Weak leaf yucca (Yucca flaccida)