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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 26 | Agavaceae | Yucca

21. Yucca neomexicana Wooton & Standley, Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 16: 115. 1913.

Yucca harrimaniae Trelease var. neomexicana (Wooton & Standley) Reveal

Plants cespitose, forming single or open colonies, each separated by 35–60 cm, acaulescent or rarely caulescent; rosettes usually small, mostly asymmetrical. Stems, when present, primarily rhizomatous, shorter than 1 m. Leaf blade spreading, including distal leaves, spatulate-lanceolate, concavo-convex, thin, widest near middle, 15–46 × 0.7–2 cm, flexible, rather glaucous, margins entire, filiferous, brown or straw-colored. Inflorescences racemose, rarely paniculate proximally, arising within or more often 0–20 cm beyond rosettes, 4–7 dm; branches, when present, few, short; bracts reflexed when mature, purplish, narrowly triangular, proximal to 10 cm, distal 2–3 cm, tapering to pungent apex; peduncle sometimes scapelike, 0.1–0.4 m. Flowers pendent; perianth campanulate; tepals distinct, white to somewhat greenish white, usually tinged pink or purple, broadly lanceolate, 3–4.7 × 1.5–3 cm; filaments 1.3–1.7 cm; pistil 2.4–3.2 cm × 0.5–0.8 cm; style pale green or rarely white, 9–13 mm; stigmas lobed. Fruits erect, capsular, dehiscent, cylindrical, deeply constricted near middle, 3–4.2 × 2–2.7 cm, dehiscence septicidal. Seeds dull black, thin, 6–8 × 5–8 mm.

Flowering spring--early summer. Exposed rocky ledges in woodlands and grasslands; 1500--2700 m; Colo., N.Mex., Okla.

Although J. L. Reveal (1977c) reduced Yucca neomexicana to a variety of Y. harrimaniae, the two taxa are morphologically and geographically distinct, and K. H. Clary’s (1997) DNA evidence supports their recognition as separate species.


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