Beaked Yucca, Big Bend Yucca

Yucca rostrata

Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Yucca (YUK-uh) (Info)
Species: rostrata (ro-STRAY-tuh) (Info)
Synonym:Yucca linearis
Synonym:Yucca rostrata var. linearis


Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage


This plant is fire-retardant

This plant is resistant to deer

Foliage Color:




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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual


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

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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 (2 reports)

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

Glen Oaks, New York

Staten Island, New York

Hilliard, Ohio

Redmond, Oregon

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Sumter, South Carolina

Lake City, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Dripping Springs, Texas

Garland, Texas

La Marque, Texas

San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)

Magna, Utah

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 18, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Like a Koosh ball on a stick. The leaves are flexible, so their hard, sharp tip spines yield to pressure instead of breaking the skin. Watch out for your eyes in handling or caring for this plant.

The color and the symmetry are outstanding. Keep other plants from intruding on its space to retain the foliage symmetry.

A smaller variety that grows up to 8ft tall and may branch is sometimes referred to as Yucca thompsoniana (RHS accepted name).


On Mar 21, 2016, sjr52557 from OAKLAND GARDENS, NY wrote:

I found a group of these plants growing in Glen Oaks, New York.


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.


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 rosta... read more


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.


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.


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 wate... read more


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.


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 ... read more