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Yucca gigantea - Lem.

Common Name Spineless yucca, Izote
Family Asparagaceae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Common in cultivation, or in hedges and thickets, throughout the lowlands and ascending commonly in the mountains to middle elevations; it is often seen at up to 2,700 metres or perhaps even higher[331 ].
Range Central America - Panama to southern Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Yucca gigantea Spineless yucca, Izote


Wikimedia.org - H. Zell
Yucca gigantea Spineless yucca, Izote
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Yucca gigantea is an evergreen Tree growing to 6 m (19ft) by 3 m (9ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The flowers are pollinated by Moth.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant is not wind tolerant.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Dracaena lennei Baker Dracaena yuccoides Baker Sarcoyucca elephantipes (Regel ex Trel.) Linding. Yucca eleana W.Watson Yucca elephantipes Regel ex Trel. Yucca ghiesbreghtii Baker Yucca guatemalensis Baker Yucca lenneana Baker Yucca mazelii W.Watson Yucca mooreana Baker Yucca roezlii Baker

Habitats

Edible Uses

The flower buds are eaten in soups[46 ]. They have a slightly bitter but quite agreeable flavour, and constitute a palatable vegetable[331 ]. Usually they are dipped in egg and fried, or mixed with meat stews, and sometimes they are eaten raw in combination with other raw salad vegetables[301 , 331 ]. The flowers are rich in vitamin C[418 ]. The tender leaf bases can be eaten[418 ].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

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Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: The tree is an ornamental one and, partly for that reason, is often planted about houses, especially for tall hedges[331 ]. In some regions, it is planted thickly on steep high roadside banks to prevent erosion[331 ]. It is also used to stabilize terracing in coffee plantations[418 ]. Other Uses A fibre obtained from the leaves is used to make twine, cloth and baskets[418 ]. Young plants are occasionally used as houseplants. However the species grows best in a hot semi-arid climate, so plants are subject to root rot if overwatered.

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Contour hedgerow  Agroforestry Services: Living fence  Management: Standard  Regional Crop

A plant of the drier tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 2,700 metres, it can be grown in much wetter areas if the soil is very well-drained[418 ]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 18 - 32°c, but can tolerate 6 - 38°c[418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,000 - 1,600mm, but tolerates 700 - 4,000mm[418 ]. Requires a sunny position that is sheltered from cold, drying winds[200 ]. Prefers a well-drained, rich, loamy soil, but is tolerant of poor sandy soils[200 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6, tolerating 4.5 - 7.3[418 ]. The plant can be harvested for its flower buds 2 - 3 years after planting out cuttings[418 ]. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[233 ]. The flowers of most members of this genus can only be pollinated by a certain species of moth. This moth does not live outside of the plants native range and, if fruit and seed is required, hand pollination is necessary. This can be quite easily and successfully done using something like a small paint brush. The flowers open at night[229 ] and are powerfully fragrant at this time[245 ].

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - pre-soaking the seed for 24 hours in warm water may reduce the germination time. Sow in containers in a lightly shaded position. The seed usually germinates within 1 - 12 months if kept at a temperature of 20°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on until large enough to plant out. Root cuttings. Lift the plant and remove small buds from the base of the stem and rhizomes. Dip in dry wood ashes to stop any bleeding and plant in a sandy soil in pots until established[78 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Guatemala yucca, Giant Yucca, Coyol, Itabo, Izote, Soft-Tip Yucca, Izote de Ciudad,Blue-stem Yucca

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Belize, Central America, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, North America, Panama, South America, St Lucia, West Indies,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Hesperaloe funiferaNew Mexico false yucca00
Yucca aloifoliaSpanish Bayonet, Aloe yucca, Dagger Plant, Yucca, Spanish Bayonet31
Yucca angustissimaNarrowleaf yucca, Kanab yucca, Toft's yucca, Yucca30
Yucca baccataSpanish Bayonet, Banana yucca, Blue Yucca, Spanish Yucca41
Yucca brevifoliaJoshua Tree, Jaeger's Joshua tree, Yucca, Joshua Tree30
Yucca constrictaBuckley's Yucca20
Yucca elataSoap Tree, Soaptree yucca, Soapweed, Soapweed Yucca20
Yucca filamentosaSpoonleaf Yucca, Adam's needle, Desert Candle, Needle Palm, St. Peter's Palm, Spanish Bayonet, Comm31
Yucca filifera 20
Yucca glaucaSoapweed, Soapweed yucca, Gurney's yucca, American Vetch, Yucca, Narrowleaf Yucca, Soapweed22
Yucca gloriosaSpanish Dagger, moundlily yucca, Palm Lily, Roman Candle, Mound Lily Yucca, Spanish Dagger21
Yucca harrimaniaeSpanish Bayonet, New Mexico Spanish bayonet20
Yucca recurvifoliaCurve-leaf yucca30
Yucca rupicolaTwisted-Leaf Yucca, Texas yucca20
Yucca schidigeraMojave Yucca, Yucca30
Yucca smallianaAdam's Needle, Weak-leaf yucca20
Yucca whippleiOur Lord's Candle30

 

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Lem.

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For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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