The genus comprises some 20 species found in North and Central America. They are monocotyledonous, tufted, either herbaceous or woody plants with short or longer main stem. The leaves are arranged in a dense spiral and form thick clumps. They are leathery, linear-lanceolate to broadly ensiform, persistent, tapering to a long, spiny point. The pendant, bell-shapedare borne in dense terminal panicles. The illustrated species is a native of south Carolina and Florida and was introduced into Europe in 1675. It forms a ground rosette of leaves from which rises the flower stem, which may be up to 3m (10 ft) high. The flowers measure 5 to 7cm (2 to 2¾ in), are coloured yellowish-white, and appear in June and July.
Yucca filamentosa is propagated most readily by suckers and division. It requires a nourishing, humusywith good and thrives in warm, sunny situations.
The yucca is alien in character to the native flora of central and western Europe but its beauty and exotic appearance make it a desirable addition to parks and gardens. The only difficulty is to decide where and how to place it, as it is not suitable for combining with other ornamental shrubs. It is effective as a solitary specimen or in looser groupings in an expanse of turf or placed with architectural elements such as statues or urns.