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Spanish-bayonet, Aloe yucca
Yucca aloifolia

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

General Landscape Uses: Accent or specimen shrub in coastal areas. Spiny barrier plantings.

Availability: Native plant nurseries.

Description: Medium to large shrub with an erect or creeping trunk. Bark thin, dark brown, rough. Leaves stiff, with a spiny tip, about 1-3 feet long.

Dimensions: Typically 3-8 feet in height in South Florida; to 15 feet in Florida. Sometimes as broad as tall but often taller.

Growth Rate: Slow to moderate.

Range: Southeastern Unites States south along the Florida coasts to the Monroe County Keys; West Indies and Mexico. Rare in the Monroe County Keys. Long cultivated in the interior of South Florida and sometimes persisting. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes north to Indian River and Manatee counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Coastal forests, thickets and grasslands.

Soils: Moist, well-drained sandy soils, with or without humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate to low; it prefers soils with organic content, but will still grow reasonably well in nutrient poor soils.

Salt Water Tolerance: Moderate; tolerates brackish water or occasional inundation by salt water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Frontline; grows in direct salt wind but away from constant salt spray.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun to light shade.

Flower Color: White.

Flower Characteristics: Showy, bell-shaped. Fragrant at night.

Flowering Season: All year; peak spring-summer.

Fruit: Blackish-purple capsule.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides moderate amounts of food and cover for wildlife. Larval host plant for cofaqui giant skipper (Megathymus cofaqui) and yucca giant skipper (Megathymus yuccae) butterflies. Nectar plant for humminbrids, as well as great southern white (Ascia monuste) and other butterflies.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed and stem cuttings.

Comments: See also the Florida Wildflower Foundation's Flower Friday page.

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: James Johnson, 2014
In habitat, Miramar Pineland Natural Area,
Broward County, Florida

Copyright by: Chuck McCartney, 1988
In habitat, Everglades National Park, Florida

Copyright by: James Johnson, 2014
In habitat, Miramar Pineland Natural Area,
Broward County, Florida

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Yucca aloifolia available from:

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