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Yucca gigantea: Spineless Yucca

Edward F. Gilman, Dennis G. Watson, Ryan W. Klein and Deborah R. Hilbert


A dramatic landscape element, spineless yucca is the tallest of the yuccas, reaching 30 feet in height with a 15-foot spread, its single, thick, rough trunk topped with straplike, four-foot-long leaves. The trunk can grow to four-feet-thick. Sprouts often grow from the base of the trunk forming a multi-trunked tree. Spineless yucca grows fairly rapidly but usually stays under 20 feet in height, and is ideal for use in succulent gardens or large planters. Unlike its close relative, Spanish bayonet, spineless yucca can be used in close range of people since it lacks the formidable, terminal spine and has harmless leaves. It was introduced into Florida in 1956 as a substitute for the spiny Spanish bayonet.

Middle-aged Yucca giganteagigantea: Spineless Yucca
Figure 1. Middle-aged Yucca gigantea: Spineless yucca. 
Credit: Ed Gilman, UF/IFAS 

General Information

Scientific name: Yucca gigantea

Pronunciation: YUCK-uh jie-GAN-tee-uh

Common name(s): Spineless yucca, soft-tip yucca

Family: Asparagaceae

USDA hardiness zones: 9B through 11 (Figure 2)

Origin: not native to North America

Invasive potential: not considered a problem species at this time, may be recommended (North, Central, South)

Uses: indoors; deck or patio; specimen; container or planter; highway median

Figure 2. Range. 
Credit: UF/IFAS 


Height: 20 to 30 feet

Spread: 10 to 15 feet

Crown uniformity: irregular (Figure 3)

Crown shape: upright/erect

Crown density: open

Growth rate: fast

Texture: coarse

Yucca gigantea: Spineless Yucca
Figure 3. Yucca gigantea: Spineless yucca. 
Credit: Stephen Brown, UF/IFAS 


Leaf arrangement: alternate (Figure 4)

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: entire

Leaf shape: lanceolate, linear

Leaf venation: parallel

Leaf type and persistence: evergreen

Leaf blade length: more than 36 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: no color change

Fall characteristic: not showy

Foliage of Yucca gigantea: Spineless Yucca
Figure 4. Foliage of Yucca gigantea: Spineless yucca. 
Credit: Stephen Brown, UF/IFAS 


Flower color: white/cream/gray (Figure 5)

Flower characteristics: showy

Flowers of Yucca gigantea: Spineless Yucca
Figure 5. Flowers of Yucca gigantea: Spineless yucca. 
Credit: Stephen Brown, UF/IFAS 


Fruit shape: oval

Fruit length: 0.5 to 1 inch

Fruit covering: fleshy

Fruit color: brown

Fruit characteristics: does not attract wildlife; not showy; fruit/leaves not a litter problem

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: branches don't droop; showy; typically multi-trunked; thorns

Pruning requirement: little required

Breakage: resistant

Current year twig color: green

Current year twig thickness: very thick

Wood specific gravity: unknown


Light requirement: full sun, partial sun, or partial shade

Soil tolerances: clay; sand; loam; alkaline; acidic; well-drained

Drought tolerance: high

Aerosol salt tolerance: moderate


Roots: not a problem

Winter interest: no

Outstanding tree: no

Ozone sensitivity: unknown

Verticillium wilt susceptibility: unknown

Pest resistance: resistant to pests/diseases

Use and Management

The two- to three-foot-tall bloom is produced on top of the stalks once the plant is 8 to 10 feet tall. Blooms are edible and high in calcium and potassium and can be used in salads. Leaves contain large amounts of ascorbic acid.

Spineless yucca grows easily in full sun or partial shade on any well-drained soil. Do not plant Yucca unless drainage is superior. Yucca grows well as a houseplant in a well-lighted area.

A spineless yucca cultivar with striped foliage, ‘Variegata', may be found in some nurseries, and may be gaining in popularity.

Propagation is by seed or by cuttings of any size. Suckers at the base of the plant root quite easily.


Pests include yucca moth borers, scale, and black weevil which bore into roots and stems.


No diseases are of major concern, except root rot in soils kept too moist. Do not irrigate Yucca. Leaf spots sometimes infect Yucca but do no real harm to the plant.

Publication #ENH-831

Release Date:March 27, 2024

Related Collections

Part of Southern Trees Fact Sheets

  • Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises
Organism ID

About this Publication

This document is ENH-831, one of a series of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 1993. Revised December 2006 and March 2024. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication. 

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus, Department of Environmental Horticulture; Dennis G. Watson, former associate professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture, Department of Environmental Horticulture; and Deborah R. Hilbert, UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Michael Andreu
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