Scientific: Yucca baccata
Common: banana yucca
Family: Asparagaceae (subfamily Agavoideae)
Origin: Southwest United States (including Arizona) into northwest Mexico and east into Texas. Locally found at elevations from 2,500 feet to 5,000 feet.

Pronounciation: YUK-ka bac-CA-ta

Hardiness zones
USDA 5-11

Landscape Use: Background, textural accent, container plant, Spanish or Mediterranean architecture.

Form & Character: Clean, clumping, upright stiff and foreboding, rigid, not people friendly.

Growth Habit: Evergreen, perennial, slowly and stiffly upright, clumping to 6 feet wide and 4 feet in height. Vigor much depends on water supply.

Foliage/texture: Strap leaves to 3 feet long are very rigid, upright and sharp pointed = DANGEROUS! Closely set on stems, margins occasionally thread bearing, filamentous; medium coarse texture.

Flowers & fruits: Extended panicles to 2 feet of brilliant and large cream white flowers, sometimes tinged with red or purple to 4" across, fruit is fleshy and edible.

Seasonal color: Flower stalks in early summer.

Temperature: Banana yucca is hardy to -20oF and thrives in lower desert heat.

Light: Full sun to some partial shade.

Soil: Tolerant

Watering: Banana yucca is a desert dweller and as such is way more drought tolerant that mesic yuccas such as Y. gloriosa or Y. recurvifolia.

Pruning: Delicately and gingerly remove old flower stalks wearing full protective clothing.

Propagation: Seed, cuttings (very easy to root), division (easy if only the leaves weren't so stout and pointed).

Disease and pests: Spider mites

Additional comments: Banana yucca is a VERY tough arid plant, but potentially VERY dangerous because of its stiff, sharply-pointed leaves. It is best used in very open large xeric landscape spaces AWAY from heavy human traffic and inflated sports balls. Banana yucca is a real 'downer' plant for volleyball, football, basketball, soccer, four square, and pool ball enthusiasts.