Soapweed, Soapwell, Bear Grass, Great Plains Yucca

Yucca glauca

Family: Agavaceae (ah-gav-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Yucca (YUK-uh) (Info)
Species: glauca (GLAW-kuh) (Info)
Synonym:Yucca angustifolia


Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

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)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


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

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer


Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

This plant is monocarpic

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed


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


Phoenix, Arizona

Boulder, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

Grand Junction, Colorado

Miami, Florida

Bloomfield, Indiana

Rolla, Kansas

Marietta, Mississippi

Sparks, Nevada

La Luz, New Mexico

Belfield, North Dakota

Medora, North Dakota

Cincinnati, Ohio

Glencoe, Oklahoma

Minco, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Ravia, Oklahoma

Union City, Oklahoma

Weatherford, Oklahoma

Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

Lindon, Utah

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 16, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The toughest and hardiest yucca for the north and east (US). I also think it's quite ornamental. Adds an exotic note here.

The flowers are cream-white, usually unevenly tinted with green and sometimes dull pink. Unlike Yucca filimentosa/flaccida, flower scapes are usually unbranched. Individual rosettes/crowns die after flowering (are monocarpic), but the clump lives on as do the pups.

In some forms, the rosette is set on top of an above-ground stem (caulescent).

Within this species there's considerable variation in how sharp and dangerous the leaf tips are.


On May 16, 2015, Chillybean from Near Central, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

We planted the dormant bare roots in the fall of 2014. They arrived with some blades already formed. I put this in an area that should stay dry.

So far, there's not been much growth, at least above ground. They survived the winter, but so far have not thrived. I have some flaccid leafed yucca that's not native to Iowa, so I hope these glaucas can bounce to life. With my natives, I hand pull the grasses around them not trusting others to avoid chopping the plants with the mower or trimmer. Yes, the blades are enough to cut your hand!


On Jun 13, 2012, Hikaro_Takayama from Fayetteville, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I was at a home showing with my realtor in New Franklin, PA when I saw a clump of three yuccas with narrow, grassy leaves and 1 to 2 ft tall trunks. I decided to head over here to ID them, and it looks like they are Y. glauca (Palm Bob's first pic is almost a dead ringer for them).

The garden they were growing in, like the house and much of the rest of the property, unfortunately, had been neglected for a number of years, but the Y. glauca was doing just fine! I decided not to buy the place (because the house was a dump), but I was half-tempted to take one of the Yucca plants. ;)

Therefore I'd say that they are quite hardy and seem to do fine with our typical not-so-well drained soils.


On Jun 5, 2009, darylmitchell from Saskatoon, SK (Zone 3a) wrote:

I have a soapweed yucca growing in my south-facing flowerbed. It seems to be doing well in the dry clay soil. Now in its second year, it's slow-growing and hasn't bloomed yet. I would expect it to take some time to get to an appreciable size, given our short summers and long, cold winters.


On Mar 22, 2009, bt18 from Union City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This yucca grows all over Oklahoma and is native to the area I live. The leaves are very tough and hard to cut especially with a dull pair of clippers. I have one I dug up just outside of town and hasn't bloomed since I have had it but it is much bigger than when I first got it.


On Sep 28, 2007, Cactusdude from Miami, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I Collected some plants in Montana when I lived there. When I moved to Miami, Florida the plants came with me.

They have been growing well in the ground for the past three years, but haven't bloomed. Guess that I will have to wait for a cold winter!

The species has an interesting spiky look in the landscape. I
think that it is quite attractive.


On Feb 8, 2006, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

American Indians used the pounded root as a poultice on inflamations and to stop bleeding. They also used it as a shampoo to cure dandruff and baldness. The leaf juice was used to make poison arrows.


On Mar 31, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

I disagree with palmbob--I find this yucca extremely attractive--attractive enough to merit an "ooh! what's that????" at our local arboretum and a quick trip to a nearby nursery that specializes in dryland plants. It's proven very hardy and very drought-tolerant.


On Mar 14, 2004, PaulNS wrote:

This Yucca is native further north than any other. It grows into Alberta (and Saskatchewan), Canada (Which by the way is zone 3a, with occasional 2b winters. Despite common belief this Yucca does from a trunk. The trunk grows slowly to about 2 feet. It is not monocarpic, as parent plants set seed many times before dieing. I personally can vouch for flowering and seeding of the same plant for 5 seasons.
This is a much better plant than people give it credit for, and its hardiness is UNMATCHED among Yuccas, it is hardier even than Yucca filamentosa and flaccida.


On Mar 13, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Not a terribly ornamental plant- looks a bit like a clump of grass with slightly spiny ends. Common all over the south and midwest into the plains of the US.