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Zones 7, 9-16, 18-23
Full Sun
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Minimal Water
Minimal

Yucca brevifolia

Joshua Tree

Evergreen, 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 brevifolia

From the deserts of Southern California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. Few-branched, slow-growing plant to 15–30 ft. by 30 ft.; both trunk and branches are heavy. Gray-green, spiny-tipped leaves to 16 in. long and 1 in. wide are clustered near the branch ends. Old, dead leaves hang on. Dense, foot-long clusters of greenish white, 3-in. flowers in late winter and spring. Collected plants are sometimes sold; nursery plants are very slow to form trunks. Best in dry, well-drained soil in desert gardens. Difficult under ordinary garden conditions.

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