Pronounciation: YUK-ka ru-pi-COO-la
Landscape Use: Accent, xeriscape filler, Spanish architecture, tropical to subtropical, oasis or mixed landscape design themes.
Form & Character: Spreading and clumping, stiff and alarming yet not dangerous like other agave species, coarsely refined.
Growth Habit: Herbaceous perennial, mostly a multi-branched rosette, up to 2 feet tall with greater spread.
Foliage/texture: Elongated, slender, strap-like medium green leaves, 2.5 feet long by 2 to 3 inches wide, tapering to a sharp tip, somewhat bendable, loosely set on stems and sometimes revolute or twisted; coarse texture.
Flowers & fruits: Multiple extended slender panicles of cream-colored flowers to 5 feet tall. Twisted leaf yucca is monocarpic meaning the main rosette dies after flowering, but produces multiple offsets which extend the clump before dying. Fruits are a non ornamental capsule.
Seasonal color: Cream white flowers on slender stalks during late spring.
Temperature: Marginally tolerant of Phoenix summer heat, but very cold tolerant to 0oF.
Light: Full sun in Phoenix, though will tolerate some partial shade.
Soil: Tolerant, grows best in alkaline soil.
Watering: Moderately drought tolerant and looks better with occassional summer irrigation. Excessive dry soil causes leaf yellowing.
Pruning: Remove spent flower and fruiting stalks only.
Propagation: Seed (soak seed in tepid water for 24 hours before sowing to shorten germination period), offsets, and root cuttings.
Disease and pests: None
Additional comments: This is a good, low-growing and clumping green yucca for oasis landscape design themes in Phoenix. It however struggles a bit in hot, exposed xeric landscape sites. The species name "rupicola" means "living near rocks". Y. rupicola hybridizes easily with Y. pallida resulting in offspring with gray-blue with twisted leaves that bears the comon name blue twist yucca.