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Twistleaf Yucca

Yucca rupicola

Other common name(s):

Twisted-leaf Yucca, Texas Yucca, Spanish Dagger

Family:

Asparagaceae (Asparagus Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Edwards Plateau
Balcones Canyonlands, Edwards Plateau Woodland, Llano Uplift, Semiarid Edwards Plateau

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Cactus & Succulent

Height

1
to
1.75
ft.

Spread

1
to
1
ft.

Leaf Retention

Evergreen

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Loam, Rocky, Limestone, Caliche, Well Drained, Dry

Light Requirement

Sun, Part Shade

Water Requirement

Low

Native Habitat

Grassland, Woodland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

White

Bloom Season

Spring

Seasonal Interest

Nectar, Larval Host

Wildlife Benefit

Butterflies, Deer, Hummingbirds, Moths

Maintenance

Little to no maintenance required. Twist-leaf yucca tolerates full sun or dappled shade, deep soil or bare rock. Spent flower stems add summer/winter interest. Remove flower stalks before Spring, after blooming or leave pods to seed out. Remove dead leaves, if desired.

Comments

Blooms April-June. Endemic to the Edwards Plateau Ecoregion of Texas. Leaves are edged with white or red and covered with white curly hairs. New leaves are straight but twist with age. Found on rocky hillsides of limestone ledges, open plains, woodlands. DNA evidence confirms the close relationship of Y. pallida and Y. rupicola. Hybrids will spread into adjacent ecoregions. Deer will eat the clusters of white bell shaped flowers, but not foliage. Larval Host: Kendall’s Yucca Skipper.
Previous Scientific Name(s): Synonym(s): Yucca tortifolia

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) Miller, George O., Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas 2nd Ed., 2013, pg 48. 3) Wasowski and Wasowski, Native Texas Plants Landscaping Region by Region, 1991, pg. 264-265. 4) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=YURU. 5) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Yucca+rupicola&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 6) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=245&locationType=County&mapType=Normal, 7) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=565606#null, 8) Native and Adapted Landscape Plants, City of Austin and Texas A&M, 2014.