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Yucca filamentosa

Yucca filamentosa L.

Yucca concava Haw.

Yucca filamentosa L. var. concava (Haw.) Baker

Adam’s Needle, Yucca

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassLiliidaeIncludes lilies, orchids, and many others
OrderAsparagalesA diverse group that includes asparagus
FamilyAsparagaceaeAgaves, asparagus, hyacinths, and others
GenusYuccaLinnaeus mistakenly derived the genus name from the Carib word for (similar-appearing) cassava, yuca
SpeciesfilamentosaRefers to the tough wiry filaments interspersed among the leaves

About plant names...

These yuccas are native to the southeastern United States, and are now found as far north as MA and as far west as Texas. Cultivars of these yuccas are popular with gardeners.

Identification: Like other yuccas, Adam’s needle looks sort of like an oversized tuft of grass. A group of evergreen straplike leaves, about 1" (2.5 cm) in diameter, erupt from a central point. Leaves are up to 3' (91 cm) in length. Like several other yuccas, Adam’s needle has thin, wiry curls or filaments on the leaves (hence the species filamentosa).

The plant blooms by growing a central spike up to 8' (2.4 m) high, covered with drooping, cream-colored flowers about 2" (5 cm) in size. Plants die after producing these stunning blooming displays.

See the Yucca page for a comparison with other yuccas.

Online References:

Yucca filamentosa on FLORIDATA

Yucca filamentosa at Ohio State University

Yucca filamentosa on Carolina Nature, from Will Cook

Yucca filamentosa at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Yucca filamentosa at the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

References:

Irish, Mary & Irish, Gary, Agaves, Yuccas and Related Plants: A Gardener’s Guide, Timber Press, 2000, p. 246

Yucca filamentosa (Adam’s Needle, Yucca)

5/31/2010 · Mt. Lebanon St., Pepperell, MA
≈ 3½ × 2½' (1.2 × 0.8 m)

Yucca filamentosa (Adam’s Needle, Yucca)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 3½ × 2½' (1.2 × 0.8 m) ID is uncertain

Yucca filamentosa (Adam’s Needle, Yucca)

6/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 31 × 46" (78 × 117 cm)

Yucca filamentosa description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Yucca filamentosa (Adam’s Needle, Yucca)

9/20/2014 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA ID is uncertain

Yucca filamentosa (Adam’s Needle, Yucca)

6/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 16 × 24" (41 × 62 cm)

Yucca filamentosa (Adam’s Needle, Yucca)

7/17/2009 · Mt. Lebanon St, Trail, Pepperell, MA
≈ 4 × 6' (1.2 × 1.8 m) ID is uncertain

Yucca filamentosa (Adam’s Needle, Yucca)

6/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 8 × 12" (20 × 31 cm)

Yucca filamentosa (Adam’s Needle, Yucca)

4/14/2010 · Mt. Lebanon St., Pepperell, MA
≈ 3½ × 2½' (1.2 × 0.8 m)

Range: Zones 5-10:

About this map...