What is a Spineless Yucca?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 August 2019
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The spineless yucca, soft-tip yucca, or Yucca elephantipes is the tallest variety of yucca plant that does not have the sharp, sword-like leaves of other yucca varieties. It is fast-growing, can reach heights of over 30 feet (9.1 m), and can spread over 15 feet (4.6 m) wide. It has a single trunk that is rough to the touch and quite thick in appearance, nearly four feet (1.2 m) wide at maturity. The trunk is capped with palm-like leaves that can grow to over four feet (1.2 m) long. It can grow sprouts from the trunk making it appear to be a multi-trunked yucca tree.

Native to Mexico, the spineless yucca can also be found in the Southern portion of the United States, the Caribbean, and other arid areas. It grows well in temperatures ranging from 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-3.8 Celsius) to those above 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.5 degrees Celsius). Consequently, it is one of the easiest plants to grow. In fact, many people consider it to be self-sufficient and able to grow with minimal care.


If kept small, the spineless yucca can grow indoors in a container; however, it can easily outside in a well-landscaped yard, a median strip along a highway, or as a decorative tree around a parking lot. As the name implies, the green leaves are not sharp and they alternate in a spiral pattern. During the warm summer months, the yucca grows a white flower. The bloom can be eaten and is considered to be high in potassium and calcium. It is even used in salads.

A brown, fleshy fruit that is not longer than one inch (2.5 cm) can be found on the spineless yucca, as well. The fruit is not a significant food source for wildlife, it is not conspicuous, and it does not fall to the ground. In all, it is a fairly unimportant part of the plant, but it does exist.

The spineless yucca does not require much pruning and it does not easily break. It grows well in partial shade, but can also grow in full sunlight. As long as the soil is well drained, the tree is happy – clay, sand, acidic or alkaline all work well for the spineless yucca. In addition, it has a high tolerance to drought. Although diseases and pests are not a large concern, yucca moth borers and the black weevil can cause problems.


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Post 2

I think that the fruit of the spineless yucca plant looks really interesting. I plant different flowers with similar colors with my yuccas for an attractive flower garden. For example, orange and yellow marigolds and red zinnias look great with spineless yuccas.

Post 1

I enjoy growing yucca plants, and the spineless yucca is my favorite of all the different varieties because there are no sharp leaves to interfere with caring for them. I also like the fact that spineless yuccas are very hardy plants, and don't require special soil, fertilizer, or complex watering schedules to thrive. I have found that keeping the garden free of weeds is the best thing for these yuccas.

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