What is a Yucca Rostrata?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 February 2020
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The beaked yucca, also known as Yucca rostrata, is native to northern Mexico and western Texas. It is usually found on rocky slopes and steep ridges that are made up of limestone. It is a hardy plant that can withstand many extremes. The word rostrata translates to beaked and the plant was named because its seeds are similar in appearance to the beak of a bird.

The Yucca rostrata has a single trunk and can grow as high as 15 feet (4.6 m). Oftentimes, trees that are fully matured will branch and grow multiple heads. The leaves of the Yucca rostrata are a greenish-blue color, flexible, pointed, and they contrast nicely with most other trees and plants, creating a stunning landscape both at homes, businesses, and in their natural habitat.

One of the easiest, most maintenance-free plants, the Yucca rostrata can thrive in areas where it receives less than ten inches (25.4 cm) of water per year; however, it can also live with some care in areas that receive 40 inches (101.6 cm) of water each year. In fact, in its native lands, it receives nearly all of its water from rain during a few select months each year – the rest of the year it can be extremely dry. It is the perfect plant for drought stricken regions, requiring such minimal water. Many people love if for its xeriscape qualities.


Although the Yucca rostrata spends most of its life soaking up the sun of the hot Mexican desert or the Texas flatlands, it also faces nearly 100 days out of the year where the night temperatures dip towards freezing. These extremes in temperatures do not affect the beaked yucca. In fact, it is one of the hardiest varieties of yucca – when it comes to freezing temperatures.

In the late spring, the Yucca rostrata has beautiful white blooms that grow in large clusters. They contrast with the blue-green foliage to make a remarkable addition to the landscaping. The flowers grow in clusters that can reach diameters of two feet (.61 m).

The tree only requires average garden soil and can even grow in sand, similar to its native desert environment. Ideally, the soil will drain well. If so, additional organic supplement is unnecessary. It is resistant to the hungry appetites of deer and rabbits; however, the Yucca rostrata does attract hummingbirds. Since it is such a hardy, easy to grow plant, it seems like it would be the perfect addition to any garden, yard, or business.


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