Information about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld
Yucca species, hybrids and cultivarsFamily: Agavaceae
Yuccas have drought tolerance and dramatic architectural forms that suit modern landscaping styles. However, some species have dangerous, needle-sharp tips. Fortunately, safer varieties are now available on the market in Queensland.
Yucca WarningJanuary, 2018
The rise and rise of succulents has had a surprising but serious downside.
A Melbourne ear, nose and throat surgeon has reported an increase in ear injuries caused by yucca leaves entering the ear canal.
In some cases, this resulted in permanent hearing loss.
The ABC interview does not specify which type(s) of yucca are the cause. Neither does the first page of the published medical report (free to view without subscription here), but the plant illustrated appears to be Yucca elephantipes
This is certainly the most likely culprit, given how common this species has become in Australian gardens. It can grow many metres tall, so there's a chance it could reach ears at all heights. Of course, eye damage is another potential hazard.
When it was introduced to the market, the relative softness of the leaves compared to other Yucca species was one of its selling points. Still, care clearly needs to be taken when working around these plants or moving potted specimens.
Consider removing them where they encroach onto high-traffic areas, which may be necessary anyway. Yucca elephantipes can grow very large with an enormous woody base and is unsuitable for cramped spaces.Older news at bottom of page.
Where to buy Yuccas in Qld
Now the most common locally planted Yucca species, becoming very popular for quickly creating a compemorary tropical look while being extremely sun and drought tolerant. The leaves have relatively soft tips.
Young plants have an upright form, which has probably encouraged many people to use them in the cramped spaces available in modern gardens. however, they need to be keep well clear of buildings, fences, retaining walls etc because the woody base will expand considerably as the plant matures. The species name literally neams "elephant foot". This will surely present a problem for many homeowners in the future who did not anticipate this.Click preview pictures for a larger image:
More online information about Yucca elephantipes
Yucca elephantipes Spineless Yucca. University of Florida, USA (PDF)
Yucca elephantipes 'Variegata' Variegated Spineless Yucca. University of Florida, USA (PDF)
Yucca Production Guide (Yucca elephantipes) University of Florida, USA
Yucca elephantipes Ecocrop database, FAO
Information about other Yuccas
The following links are for general information. Many of the links on the general Succulents page will also contain information about Yuccas.
Benny's Yucca Page - actually many pages of information and pictures covering many species. Denmark
Yuccas Backyard Gardener column, March 22, 2000. Arizona Cooperative Extension, University of Arizona
Yuccas in the Huntington Desert Garden Milieu Huntington Desert Garden, California
Yellow yuccas Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture
Yucca baileyi var. navajoa Includes some interesting notes on Yucca pollination. UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research, University of British Columbia, Canada
Yucca aloifolia L. New South Wales Flora Online
Yucca aloifolia Spanish Bayonet. University of Florida, USA (PDF)
Yucca aloifolia Spanish bayonet. Encyclopedia of Stanford Trees, Shrubs & Vines
Yucca filamentosa University of Florida (PDF)
Yucca filamentosa Adams Needle. University of Florida, USA (PDF)
Yucca filamentosa fact sheet Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Yucca filamentosa Ohio State University, USA
Yucca filamentosa Trees of Miami, Florida, USA
Adam's Needle (Yucca filamentosa) Landscape Plant Propagation Information, University of Florida
Yucca gloriosa Spanish Dagger, Mound-Lily Yucca. University of Florida, USA (PDF)
Yucca gloriosa Spanish dagger. Arid Plant List, University of Arizona
Yucca baccata Banana yucca. Arid Plant List, University of Arizona
banana yucca Yucca baccata. Virginia Tech
Yucca brevifolia Joshua Tree. The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens, California USA
Joshua tree Virginia Tech
Yucca elata Soaptree yucca. Arid Plant List, University of Arizona
soaptree yucca Virginia Tech
Spanish Bayonet (Yucca elata) Landscape Plant Propagation Information, University of Florida
Yucca faxoniana Faxon yucca. Arid Plant List, University of Arizona
Yucca filifera (Y. australis) Tree Yucca. Encyclopedia of Stanford Trees, Shrubs & Vines
Spanish Bayonet (Yucca glauca) Landscape Plant Propagation Information, University of Florida
Yucca recurvifolia Pendulous yucca. Arid Plant List, University of Arizona
Yucca recurvifolia Pendulous Yucca. Encyclopedia of Stanford Trees, Shrubs & Vines
Yucca rigida Blue yucca. Arid Plant List, University of Arizona
Yucca rostrata Beaked Yucca. The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens, California USA
Possible Misspellings: Yuca, Yukka, Yucka, Yuka