Yucca aloifolia
Photo Sheldon Navie
Photo Sheldon Navie
Photo Sheldon Navie
Photo Sheldon Navie
Photo Sheldon Navie
Photo Sheldon Navie
Common names 
Also known as: Yucca,
Flowering time 
Spring- Autumn
Native to south-eastern USA (i.e. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, southern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and south-eastern Texas), Mexico and the Caribbean (i.e. Antigua and Barbuda, Guadeloupe, Jamaica and St. Lucia).
Council declaration 
SIL – Special Investigation List
Known distribution 

This species is widespread but scattered in Australia, and is mainly found in coastal districts. It has been recorded in south-eastern and central Queensland, in some parts of eastern New South Wales, in the ACT and in south-western Western Australia. It is also sparingly naturalised on Lord Howe Island. Also naturalised overseas in other parts of the Caribbean (e.g. Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) and in New Caledonia.


Typically prefers dry, elevated and infertile areas.


Upright succulent growing to 4 metres in height, will take on multi-stem form if cut

Impact and control methods 

Creates saponins that are quite toxic to people, they are poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass straight through. They are also destroyed by prolonged heat, such as slow baking in an oven. Hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish indicating a hazard to aquatic life.

Reproduction and dispersal 

The native pollinators of Y. aloifolia are the yucca moths Tegeticula yuccasella and T. cassandra, but fruit set occurs outside of the range of these pollinators. Although most yuccas require a specialized pollinator, this fruit and seed set of Y. aloifolia away from its normal pollinators was found to be due to pollination by European honeybees (Apis mellifera), however, report that the plant produces few fruits where the specialist pollinator is limited.

Similar species 

Yucca gloriosa can be confused with Y. aloifolia. “Leaf margins on Spanish dagger (Yucca gloriosa) are smooth, whereas those on Yucca aloifolia (Spanish bayonet) are rough. The outer halves of the leaves on Spanish dagger also bend toward the ground, whereas those on Spanish bayonet do not” (Gilman, 2014).