Yucca rupicola


Linnaea 23: 143. 1850.

Common names: Twisted-leaf yucca
Synonyms: Yucca rupicola var. tortifolia Engelmann
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 431. Mentioned on page 425, 432.

Plants usually forming open colonies of rosettes, acaulescent, with branching subterranean caudices; rosettes 2–15 per colony, each rosette with fewer than 100 leaves. Leaf blade lanceolate, twisted, strongly concave, widest at middle, distinctly narrowing toward base, broadened at stem attachments, 35–60 × 1.7–4 cm, somewhat fleshy, flexible, margins denticulate or wavy, dark orange or reddish brown, apex pointed. Inflorescences paniculate, arising beyond rosettes, narrowly ovoid, 2.5–10 dm; branches 0.7–2 dm; bracts erect; peduncle scapelike, 0.3–1.5 m, 1.5–2 cm diam. Flowers pendent; perianth campanulate; tepals distinct, white or greenish white, ovate, 4–7 × 1.5–3 cm, apex sharply acuminate; filaments 1.8–3.2 cm; pistil 2.5–4.5 cm; style white or greenish, 12–20 mm; stigmas lobed. Fruits erect, capsular, dehiscent, ellipsoid to cylindric, 4–5.5 × 2–3 cm, dehiscence septicidal. Seeds dull black, thin, 6–8 mm diam.

Phenology: Flowering late spring.
Habitat: Rocky hillsides of limestone ledges, open plains, woodlands
Elevation: 400–900 m


Yucca rupicola is endemic to southeastern Edwards Plateau. It is the only species in the flora with flaccid, twisted leaves.

Selected References


Lower Taxa