Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Beaked Yucca, Big Bend Yucca
Yucca rostrata

Family: Agavaceae (ah-gav-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Yucca (YUK-uh) (Info)
Species: rostrata (ro-STRAY-tuh) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

18 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
This plant is fire-retardant
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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7 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive TimMAz6 On Jan 7, 2013, TimMAz6 from North Seekonk, MA wrote:

Yucca rostrata glows well in zone 6b Massachusetts. I would recommend winter moisture protection since very wet and snowy winters may damage the plant. Protection should prevent moisture from getting into the leaf head. I've grown rostrata since 2002 and enjoy it very much.

Positive thistlesifter On Jan 11, 2009, thistlesifter from Vista, CA wrote:

Yucca, nolina, and beaucania, all defy normal taxonomic classification.

There are some theories that these genera and some of the Agave were cultivated and cultivars developed by pre-columbian tribes of Mexico and central america. Many were useful and important both as landscape decoration as well as fiber development. Pre-columbian americas were far advanced in use of fiber technology over the old world.

In fact, Cortez discarded his metal armor in favor of Aztec textile armour which was more effective against the obsidium points used on Aztec spear and arrow points. The obsidum would shatter and the glass chards worked its way into armour and did much damage that the bullet projectiles through the tough textile.

We've had rostatas in our gardens for over 20 years. very slow here, but also very beautiful in full sunlight.

Positive imcuban2 On Mar 21, 2008, imcuban2 from Chicago, IL wrote:

I have been experimenting with many yucca. I ordered one of these and it rooted very fast. It has a southern exposure plenty of summer heat. It grows almost flawlessly. I threw peice of clear plastic over it to keep it dry thats all. It even appears to have growns some over the winter. THIS one is a winner!! Its growing in a rich soil

............UPDATE .........11/13/13

I bought this 21" in 2007 and in 2012 I transplanted to my new home in Plainfield 30 miles south west of Chicago and its 58" tall from the soil line. It has bloomed for me once in 2011 (in Chicago) they LOVE rich soil and regular watering. Next spring I am planting agave and Cacti next to it.

Positive YuccaShawn On Jan 16, 2007, YuccaShawn from Brooklyn, NY wrote:

So far it's been 1yr & a 1/2 and no burn what so ever. I have 6 Yucca rostrata's, 4 of them about 3 feet tall. All did great the winter of 05/06. And very little protection needed compared to the cold hardy palms I have. These are the future yucca "Palms" of the Northeast USA.

Positive htop On Jul 24, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

It is also known as Big Bend yucca for the Big Bend region of Texas where it is commonly found, Soyate and Palmita. Beaked yucca is a native plant that inhabits western Texas and northern Mexico in the states of Chihuahua and Coahuila. Beaked yucca, is usually found growing on rocky bajadas, ridges or slopes that are comprised of limestone gravel. It grows much faster in alkaline soils.

It is a normally a single-trunked yucca that reaches heights of 6-15 feet and wide of 5-8 feet Mature plants may branch and become multi-headed. It is a thin-leafed tree yucca with several. The leaves have sharp spine tips and smooth, yellow leaf margins. It has flat leaves as compared to yucca rigida which has leaves with more of a u-shape. It is adaptable to many soil types, has low water requirements and is slow growing. It is very hardy to drought as well as severe cold. When rooted properly, it can withstand temperatures to -15 degrees C.

In the spring through the summer, a 60 cm long panicle is produced which mostly is composed of fleshy white flowers. It stands above the leaves. It can be propagated from seeds or offsets and can be transplanted easily.

Positive shoedavies On Dec 5, 2003, shoedavies from Canon City, CO wrote:

I received this plant via mail order with virtually no roots - just the trunk and leaves. Since I had $95 invested, I planted it anyway; but with so little of the plant below the soil, I put some hefty boulders around the base to keep the wind from blowing it over. It looked pretty bad the first year, but apparently sprouted roots because the next year it grew moderately. Y. rostrata is recognized more and more as the hardiest of the trunk-forming yuccas. Mine grows in zone 6a; the internet indicates others are even growing in zone 5. Needs well-drained soil that stays pretty dry in the winter.

Positive palmbob On Oct 18, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This was first introduced to me as the Nordstrum's Yucca, because some of the Nordstroms stores out here in So Cal would have these neat, elegant Yuccas lining their walkways. It is a very attractive plant, and relatively 'user-friendly' for a yucca, with sharp leaves, but soft and not that piercing (can be handled easily without pain or bloodshed, but watch your eyes). It has wonderfully glaucous leaves that create a turquoise ball on a stick in larger specimens. As a young plant the leaves tend to have a yellow striping that disappears with age. It is a moderately fast growing yucca, but larger specimens go for many hundreds of dollars, and it is a collector's iten. The flower stalks are short but interesting looking and of a pale yellow-orange.

Some consider Yucca thompsoniana as the same species, only a branching form of Yucca rostrata. There is also a fine-leaf form of this that looks a bit like Yucca elata, only there are no filaments on the leaves.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Orange Beach, Alabama
Fountain Hills, Arizona
Mesa, Arizona
Sierra Vista, Arizona
Superior, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Bonsall, California
Borrego Springs, California
Fallbrook, California
Nevada City, California
Reseda, California
Riverside, California
San Leandro, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Vacaville, California
Boulder, Colorado
Canon City, Colorado
Denver, Colorado
Fort Collins, Colorado
Pueblo, Colorado
Norwalk, Connecticut
Stratford, Connecticut
Lake Worth, Florida
Loxahatchee, Florida
Miami, Florida
Palm Beach, Florida
Douglasville, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Louisville, Kentucky
Taylorsville, Kentucky
Coushatta, Louisiana
Seekonk, Massachusetts
Las Vegas, Nevada
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Cape May, New Jersey
Medford, New Jersey
Mullica Hill, New Jersey
Newfield, New Jersey
Ocean City, New Jersey
Sicklerville, New Jersey
Williamstown, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Roswell, New Mexico
Brooklyn, New York
Staten Island, New York
Hilliard, Ohio
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Sumter, South Carolina
Lake City, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Dripping Springs, Texas
Garland, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Magna, Utah

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