Yucca glauca

Source: Matt Lavin

Yucca glauca

Yucca glauca or Soapweed is an evergreen belonging to the family of the Agavaceae.

It is the most frost resistant Yucca and withstands the harsh winters in Canada or Scandinavia where it can easily survive in the garden without winter protection.

This plant can be successfully grown both in the garden or in a pot.


It forms small colonies of 1-15 rosettes. It is usually trunkless but sometimes forms an erect trunk of 40 cm high, branched or not.

The gray-blue leaves grow in a rosette. They are linear to linear-lanceolate, 20-100 cm long and 0.6-1.2 cm wide. They are stiff, the margin is white and smooth wear white filaments. The point at the top of the leaf is very sharp.

The inflorescence is branched or sometimes feather-shaped. It appears within or just outside the rosette and is 0.3 to 2 m long. There are 25-30 drooping flowers, white-green to white and 5 cm long.

The fruits are cylindrical to obovoid, erect, 3 cm long. The seeds are black, slightly shiny, 9-12 mm long and 8-9 mm wide.

Its root system can be up to 6 m deep and 6-9 m wide. That makes it particularly suitable to protect slopes against erosion.


Common names:

Bear Grass, Bear-Grass, Beargrass, Great Plains Yucca, Small soapweed, Soapweed, Soapweed Yucca, Soapwell, Spanish bayonet, Yucca


Yucca glauca var. gurneyi, Yucca glauca var. stricta, Yucca stricta, Yucca angustifolia


Yucca: Central and South American name for the cassava plant, from the Spanish yuca, probably from Taino, the indigenous language from Haiti.
Glauca: from the Latin glaucus (blue-gray)


North and Central America


Prairies and waste areas in sandy soil or limestone, at 500-2,600 m elevation


USDA zones 4-10, -35 °C when it’s in a very dry spot. In regions where winters are moist it tolerates -18 °C safely.

Yucca glauca inflorescence

Source: Matt Lavin

Yucca glauca inflorescence



Very dry sand or clay soil. The most important thing is a very good drainage


Prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade


Water sparingly in pots, not at all in the garden


Fertilize every 2 weeks during the growing season


Seed, Suckers, Stem cuttings

Sowing instructions:

  • the seeds germinate better after a stratification period of 2 months: place them in your refrigerator (do not forget to note the date)
  • soak the seeds for 24 hrs in water
  • sow in a moist sandy mix
  • If the temperature is between 28 and 32 °C, the seed can germinate in 4 days. At lower temperatures 20-25 °C it will take longer to germinate: about 2 weeks.