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

6. Yucca schidigera Roezl ex Ortgies, Gartenflora. 20: 110. 1871.

Mohave yucca

Yucca californica Nuttall ex Baker; Y. mohavensis Sargent

Plants forming colonies of rosettes, shrubby, caulescent, to 5 m. Stems 1–8, simple or sparingly branched. Leaf blade erect, yel-lowish green, sword-shaped, broadest at middle, markedly concave, thick, 33–130 × 3–5 cm, rigid, glabrous, margins entire, filiferous with coarse fibers. Inflorescences erect, paniculate, dense, arising entirely within or scarcely beyond rosettes, obovoid or ellipsoid and flat distally, 3–6 dm; peduncle scapelike, to 4 dm. Flowers pendent; perianth globose; tepals spreading, distinct, white or cream, lanceolate or broadly lanceolate, 3–5(–7.5) × 1–1.8 cm; filaments 2–2.5 cm, papillose at base; anthers 3.2 mm; pistil 1.8 × 2.5 cm; ovary 1.7–2.7 × 0.7–1.2 cm, apex abruptly tapered; style 1–2 mm; stigmas distinct. Fruits pendent, baccate, indehiscent, elongate, cylindrical, 5–11.5 × 3–4 cm, fleshy, succulent. Seeds gray, 8–11 mm diam., 6–9 mm thick, rugose.

Flowering late winter--early spring. Deserts and chaparral, rocky or gravelly mountain slopes; 300--1200 m; Ariz., Calif., Nev.; Mexico (Baja California).

Yucca schidigera is usually used for landscaping in the southwest and by Native Americans for food and fiber. Capsules made from inflorescence stalks are sold as natural health products.


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