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Types of Yucca Plants for Florida

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Yuccas are evergreen, perennial sub-shrubs belonging in the family Agavaceae and encompassing 40 species. There is a variety of species native to Florida. Drought-tolerant and tolerating the state's warm temperatures, even novice Florida gardeners will find yuccas hardy and relatively maintenance-free. Choices include spineless and spiny varieties, with some growing up to 30 feet in height.

Giant Yucca

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Giant yucca (Yucca elephantipes) is the largest of all species, according to Floridata, reaching up to 30 feet tall at maturity. Foliage born from the center rosette is sword-like, spineless and can reach up to 4-foot in length. This Mexican and Central American native, grows well in warmer central and southern regions of Florida located in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 9 through 11. Plants bloom in summertime with white, bell-like flowers born from a tall central stalk. Plants work well grown in containers, or as a specimen in large areas. Giant yucca grows best in well-drained soils located in full sun or shade. It has a high tolerance to drought and a moderate tolerance to salt spray.

Spanish Dagger

Spanish dagger (Yucca gloriosa) is a Florida native, perennial evergreen growing well throughout all areas of the state. Plants have bluish-green foliage that is spineless, mound-like and spear-like, born from the center rosette. As plants age they develop an upright trunk and form branches, growing up to 8 feet tall at maturity. Bell-like blooms form during summer from an 8-foot, central spike. Flowers are fragrant, white and purple. Spanish dagger grows in full sun to shade in well-drained soils. Its high tolerance to drought makes it well suited for xeriscaping or rock gardens. Plants also work well as specimens or in mixed gardens.

Spanish Bayonet

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Spanish bayonet (Yucca aloifolia) is an evergreen, perennial, Florida native that has very sharp spiny ends on its 2-foot leaves, thus the name. It has an upright habit until plants reach anywhere from 5 to 20 feet, advises Floridata. Its top heaviness then causes the plant to fall towards the ground and continues growing. Foliage is bluish-green with springtime blossoms born on a 2-foot spike in colors of white and purple. The yucca grows well throughout the entire state, preferring full sun and sandy, well-drained soils. Plants are drought-tolerant. Spanish bayonet works well as a barrier plant due to its sharp spines, as a specimen or accent, for xeriscaping or rock gardens.

Adams Needle

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Adams needle (Yucca filamentosa) is a native, perennial evergreen growing well throughout Florida. It has an upright, bunching habit with 2-foot long, spear-like, greenish foliage born from the plant's center rosette. Plants bloom with white, bell-like flowers born on a central spike approximately 12-foot tall. Once plants bloom they die, but offshoots continue to grow eventually filling in the area. This is one of the shorter yucca species, growing approximately 3 feet tall and is suitable used in rock gardens, xeriscaping or mixed perennial gardens. It grows best in well-drained soils and is highly drought tolerant. Plants grow in full sun to partial shade, with full sun optimal.

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