In January 2010, I rescued two discarded Spineless Yucca cuttings from the floor of my local Target Garden Center. When I got home, I planted one directly into the newly prepared Ranchero, and placed the other in a container. Four years later, the in-ground specimen has totally taken off!
When planted outdoors, Spineless Yucca (aka Y. gigantea) becomes a very large 30′ tree with stiff, blade-like leaves growing from a central axis. The trunk is thick and woody, and at maturity shows marked base swelling, similar to it’s relative, the Pony-tail palm.
Yuccas placed in 10-17″ pots will top out between 4-8′ tall. The 4 yr old plant above–in its original 12″ container–is currently 30″ tall, less than half the size of its 7′ Ranchero counterpart!
A word about flowers during spring/summer, a 2-3′ inflorescence of white flowers appears above the foliage but only AFTER the plant is 8′ tall…Obviously, mine have a way to go yet! The edible blooms are high in calcium and potassium and considered quite tasty if used in salads. (will let you know, if this ever happens! )
Like many other plants, Spineless Yucca has recently undergone a scientific name change. As of 3/23/12, the accepted name became Yucca gigantea with Y. guatemalensis and Y. elephantipes considered synonyms. If you go looking for it in garden stores or nurseries, you may find it listed as all three!
Until next time….