Your support is critical to our success.
Mexico 12 December 1997. (Linear-leaf Yucca) - This is a beautiful and rare yucca from Nuevo León, Mexico into Texas. This slow growing plant has hundreds of narrow pliant blue-green 60-90 cm long leaves in a globular head standing above the ground on a stout trunk that can reach to 1,2 m tall with time.
Origin and Habitat: Yucca linearifolia is endemic to Mexico where it is found in the Sierra Madre Oriental and in the Sierra Santa Maria in the states of Nuevo León and Coahuila.
Altitude range: 1100 to 1400 meters above sea level.
Habitat and ecology: This species occurs on shale in desert scrub, both in planes or in limestone hills and shaded canyons. It is often found growing in association with Yucca filifera, Agave striata, Dasylirion sp., Agave sp. and various types of cacti.
- Yucca linearifolia Clary
ENGLISH: Linear-leaf Yucca, Linear Denticulate Leaf Yucca, Narrowleaf yucca
ARABIC ( لعربية ): يوكا خطية الأوراق
FRENCH (Français): yucca à feuilles linéaires
Description: Yucca linearifolia (Linear-leaf Yucca) is a slow growing tree-like yucca up to 3.5 m tall, that has hundreds of narrow pliant pale blue-green leaves up to 40 cm long in a globular head standing above the ground on a stout trunk that can reach to 1,2-3.5 m tall with time. It is one of the most beautiful yucca and in the past has been considered a form of Yucca rostrata (Yucca rostata var. linearis), but recent treatment has placed it in its own species noting that its distinctive combination of fleshy fruit and narrow, linear, denticulate leaves sets it apart from all other yuccas. The species is the only fleshy-fruited Yucca with narrow denticulate leaves.
Derivation of specific name: The botanical name refers to the linear (straight) leaves.
Stems: Mostly single, unbranched 1.2-3.5 m tall.
Rosettes: With hundreds of twisted blue leaves that erupt from the centre and forming a symmetrical sphere in time to1,5 cm in diameter, often somewhat flattened in the top. At first glance the rosette may resemble the Australian grass trees, Xanthorrhora glauca, or a dim version of Dasylirion quadrangularis.
Leaves: Numerous, quite variable, linear, distally twisting slightly outwards, from super thin, almost grass-like and a distinctive pale greyish-green to nearly turquoise (new growth) flat and somewhat triangular, flexible, (30)34-38(-45) cm long and about 4-5 mm wide in the middle (narrower than Yucca rostrata), persistent when old, reflexing and completely covering the trunk. Margins thin, horny, pale yellow, denticulate (finely toothed). Terminal spine dark reddish-brown to black, 3-8 mm long.
Inflorescence: Branched is 0.6-0.9 m high above the foliage, erect, scape short, moderately branched, lower part-inflorescences ( the largest) with 4 - 6 flowers.
Flowers: White to off-white, pendulous, bell-shaped. Outer tepals elliptic, 30-33 mm long, 15 mm wide. Inner tepals obovate, 30 mm long, 20 mm wide, creamy-white. Tube none. Ovary oblong-cylindrical, 9-10 mm in diameter.
Flowering period: (in habitat) May to June.
Fruits (Berries): Fleshy, asymmetrical, narrowly ovoid, tip constricted, 5-7 cm long, 2.3-2.5 cm thick, indehiscent.
Seeds: Polymorphic (variable in shape depending on how they are positioned in the fruit), dull, black, to 5-7 mm long, 4-6 mm wide.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Fritz Hochstätter “Yucca (Agavaceae). volume 3 Mexico and Baja California”, Selbstverlag, 2004
2) Daniel Guillot Ortiz, Piet Van der Meer “El género Yucca L. en España” José Luis Benito Alonso, 01 set 2009
3) Clary, Karen "Yucca linearifolia (Agavaceae): A New, Indehiscent, Fleshy-Fruited, Linear-Leaved Species Endemic to the Chihuahuan Desert, Mexico" Brittonia, Vol. 47, No. 4.
4) San Marcos Growers “Yucca linearifolia - Linear-leaf Yucca ” <http://www.smgrowers.com/products/plants/plantdisplay.asp?plant_id=3123>. Web. 26 May 2016
5) Wikipedia contributors. "Yucca linearifolia." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 1 Apr. 2014. Web. 27 May. 2016.
6) Thiede, J., “Illustrated handbook of succulent plants vol. 1. (Monocotyledons)” (Eggli ed.): 91, 2002. (Yucca linearifolia).
Cultivation and Propagation: Yucca linearifolia is a slow growing, carefree and durable plant admired for its spherical form and fine texture and has become one of the most sought after of the woody lilies. It is among the yucca species that form a trunk with age and won't be passed over by anyone with an appreciation for sculptural plants. This species is highly tolerant of drought, frost and heat. Though the tip of this plant is fairly sharp the lack of stiffness in the leaves makes this plant less dangerous than most others of the genus. They grow pretty reliably, though not as strongly or neatly as Yucca rostrata, which some forms of this look very much like (with much narrower leaflets, though).
Soil: Plant in very fast draining soil. It is adapted to a hot, dry environment, but has some tolerance to moisture and humidity when planted in a very well-draining soil. It is noted as preferring alkaline conditions.
Transplanting: This species can be moved pretty well, though with a surprisingly small root ball (The roots die each time you dig it up, but new ones replace them).
Waterings: Provide little or no water in winter. Treat like a succulent. However, they grow faster if watered well (don't water the crown, though they rot easily). In the garden they should be placed in a sunny, well-drained area with additional summer water in dry climates.
Exposure: They thrive best in full sun, but can be grown with some shade and humidity, but may become leggy.
Uses: These make great specimen plants for xeriscape gardens and blend well in either tropical or arid gardens. Small plants are relatively inexpensive, but larger ones are a fortune. These make excellent potted specimens, and their symmetrical form provides a striking focal point, ans display wonderful shadows when illuminated by night lighting. In cooler climates they thrive well in gravel garden, as they have proven quite hardy because of the excellent drainage.
Hardiness. Best where winter temperatures stay above 0° C, but hardy in Central Europe -20 ° C in dry state in the winter months. In Albuquerque, New Mexico is completely hardy. Plants in containers can be moved inside during longer cold spells.
Maintenance: When the trunk is pruned of the older, lower leaves, the remaining leaf bases create a beautiful symmetrical spiral leaf-base pattern.
Propagation: Easy to propagate from seeds or suckers (If available).
|Back to Yucca index|
|Back to Agavaceae index|
|Back to Succulents Encyclopedia index|