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Yucca baccata

Banana Yucca, Datil

Evergreen, Edible fruit, Shrubs, Flowers

YUCCA

Yuccas grow over much of North America. All have tough, sword-shaped leaves and large clusters of typically white or whitish, rounded to bell-shaped flowers. Some are stemless clumps; others have trunks and reach tree size. Group yuccas with cacti or with agaves or other succulents; or grow them with softer-leafed tropical foliage plants. Taller kinds have striking silhouettes, and even stemless species provide important vertical accents when in bloom. Keep those with stiff, sharp-pointed leaves away from walks, terraces, and other well-traveled areas. (Some people clip off the sharp tips with nail clippers.)

Best in well-drained soil. Most need only occasional deep soakings.

Yucca baccata

From the southwestern U.S. and Mexico. Slow growth to 3 ft. tall and 5 ft. wide. Foliage clump may have no stem or several short, prostrate ones. Sharp-tipped, light bluish green or yellowish green leaves to 2 ft. long and 2 in. wide, with fibers along the edges. Large (2–6 in.), fleshy flowers from spring into summer are red-brown outside, white inside, carried in dense, 2-ft.-long clusters. Fleshy, edible, bananalike fruits to 6 in. long.

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