Yucca gloriosa ‘Variegata’
Spanish Dagger, Adam's Needle
Yucca gloriosa ‘Variegata’ is an exceptionally handsome and tolerant shrub, slowly suckering to form a spreading colony of plants, each sporting a wide crown comprised of very stiff guttered dark green leaves, dangerously spine-tipped, that have a regular butter yellow margin.
Late in summer and into autumn, sometimes too late to avoid frost damage – huge panicles festooned with hundreds of creamy white bell-shaped flowers are thrust from the centre of the crowns.
Originally from South-Eastern US, where it grows along the coast in exposed sand dunes, the Yucca gloriosa is widely cultivated in subtropical and arid gardens as it creates an architectural focal point.
In cultivation it is much confused with Yucca recurvifolia, apparently with which it readily hybridises, so ‘true’ Yucca gloriosa are seen infrequently.
An up to 2.5 metre tall branched spike of creamy-white bells is produced late in the year – often, in the UK, not fully developing before frosts.
Care & Size Guidance
The plant is very hardy and it can withstand temperatures down to -20 degrees Celsius with no damage. It can easily handle the occasional snow or freezing temperatures. Younger specimens or recently planted Yucca gloriosa should be protected over winter with a horticultural fleece and kept as dry as possible.
Variegated Spanish Dagger adds an unusual colour variation to the glaucous greys of the arid garden and, tolerating more moisture than many succulent plants, should find a place as an accent plant in more regular planting schemes.
It’s the perfect choice for arid gardens, it will cope well with drought and exposed coastal gardens as it shows an unparalleled tolerance to salt.