Yucca flaccida

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Needle palm
Yucca flaccida.jpg
Yucca flaccida, Royal Botanic Garden, Madrid
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Yucca
Y. flaccida
Binomial name
Yucca flaccida
  • Yucca filamentosa var. flaccida (Haw.) Engelm.
  • Yucca concava Haw.
  • Yucca exigua Baker
  • Yucca glaucescens Haw.
  • Yucca puberula Haw.
  • Yucca orchioides Carrière
  • Yucca louisianensis Trel.
  • Yucca smalliana Fern.
  • Yucca freemanii Shinners

Yucca flaccida, commonly called Adam's needle[3] or weak-leaf yucca,[4] is a species of flowering plant in the asparagus family (Asparagaceae). It is native to south-central and southeastern North America, from the lower Great Plains eastward to the Atlantic seaboard in Virginia, south through Florida and the Gulf states.[5] Its natural habitat is in sandy open woodlands and fields.[3]


It is a stemless evergreen shrub growing to 55 cm (22 in) tall by 150 cm (59 in) broad. It has a basal rosette of sharply pointed, swordlike leaves up to 55 cm (22 in) long. In summer, 150 cm (59 in) long panicles of bell-shaped creamy white flowers are held above the foliage.[6]

The Latin specific epithet flaccida means "weak", "feeble", referring to the leaves which often fold under their own weight (the inner leaves may remain erect as they are supported by the outer ones).[7]


Some authorities regard Y. flaccida as a variety or form of Y. filamentosa, rather than as a separate species.[3]

Populations in the South Central Region of the United States with unusually narrow leaves have been segregated as Y. louisianensis by some authorities.[8][9] This entity is found in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.[10]


A number of yucca moths lay their eggs upon Y. flaccida as a host plant, an example being Tegeticula intermedia.[11]


It is cultivated and valued as an architectural plant.[6] Numerous cultivars are available, some with variegated leaves, of which 'Golden Sword'[12] and 'Ivory'[13] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[14]


  1. ^ "International Plant Names Index (IPNI) -Yucca flaccida". Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  2. ^ Tropicos, Yucca flaccida
  3. ^ a b c "Flora of North America (FNA) - Yucca flaccida". Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Yucca flaccida". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  5. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  6. ^ a b RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
  7. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845337315.
  8. ^ a b Alan Weakley (2015). "Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States".
  9. ^ Diggs, George; Lipscomb, Barney; Reed, Monique; O'Kennon, Robert (2006). Illustrated Flora of East Texas, Volume 1. Botanical Research Institute of Texas. p. 684.
  10. ^ "Yucca louisianensis". County-level distribution map from the North American Plant Atlas (NAPA). Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  11. ^ "Tegeticula intermedia". tolweb.org. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  12. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Yucca flaccida 'Golden Sword'". Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  13. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Yucca flaccida 'Ivory'". Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  14. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 108. Retrieved 10 March 2019.