Yucca filifera


Yucca baccata f. fragilifolia
Yucca baccata subsp. vespertina
Yucca filifera
Yucca fragilifolia
Yucca hanburyi
Yucca scabrifolia
Yucca vespertina


Y. filifera is native to Arizona, California, Colorado, Mexico Northeast, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The plant is widely spread in Chihuahuan desert and it is one of the most widespread species among those of its genus and can vegetate up to 2400 m of altitude. This species can form forests that extend over many kilometers


Y. filifera is a common succulente belonging to the Agavaceae botanical family. The succulent has a short and thick trunk bearing a rosette of leaves. The plant is very long-lived and can reach up to 10 m in height. The leaves are lanceolate, dark green, 50 cm long and 3 cm wide, ending with a sharp and long spine. The name filifera owes to the long whitish filaments that surround the margin of the leaves. Blooming occurs from February to April and blossom and the inflorescence is terminal erect and oval. The flowers are creamy-white and produce fleshy fruits with blackish and thin seeds.


This is a slow growing plant, easy to cultivate. The plant needs a full light sun exposure but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The plant does not like temperatures below 10°C so it needs to be placed indoors in the coldest periods. The soil should be mixed with pumice, clay and loam to allow the drainage and prevent the root rot, the plant is prone to it indeed. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly in Spring and Summer: during the vegetative period you can water the plant (every 7 days), checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. If you want a faster and lush growth you can fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for cacti; stop fertilizing throughout the winter. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil.


The easiest and fast method of propagation is to use cuttings. By cutting you can make the cut during the spring and then let the cutting dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form, then place the cutting in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C.


The name of this genus was decided by the botanist Johann Jakob Dillen, who towards the end of the 1700’s took the name given by the people of Central America to the most common of these plants, extending it to the whole genus.

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