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Yucca Garden

Yuccas may be ground-huggers, shrubs or huge branched trees. The surest signs are a cluster of tough, sharp, dagger shaped leaves and large clusters of whitish flowers. A tall, bare flower stem and dense shag on the trunk of the plant may also help identify a yucca.

Several characteristics help a yucca survive in the desert. Rain runs down the stiff leaves to the base of the plant to irrigate the roots; the dead shag also channels water to the roots. The leaves and stems store water.

Two animals are closely associated with yuccas: yucca night lizards that feed on insects in the thatch of several species, and yucca moths, responsible for pollination. Unlike “accidental” pollination that occurs in the course of gathering nectar or feeding, yucca pollination is deliberate. After laying her eggs in the flower, the moth deposits pollen which insures that fruit will set and that seeds will be produced to feed the larvae.

Yuccas are closely related to the lily family, and are only found in North, Central and South America.

Botanical Name Common Name Family
Calliandra californica Baja Fairy Duster Fabaceae
Chilopsis linearis Desert Willow Bignoniaceae
Cordia boissieri Texas Olive Boraginaceae
Ferocactus cylindraceus California Barrel Cactus, Compass Barrel Cactaceae
Hesperaloe funifera Coahuilan Hesperaloe Asparagaceae
Penstemon centranthifolius Scarlet Bugler Plantaginaceae
Penstemon clevelandii var. connatus San Jacinto Beardtongue Plantaginaceae
Penstemon eatonii Firecracker Penstemon Plantaginaceae
Penstemon spectabilis Showy Penstemon, Royal Penstemon Plantaginaceae
Yucca aloifolia Spanish Bayonet Asparagaceae
Yucca angustissima Narrowleaf Yucca Asparagaceae
Yucca arizonica Arizona Yucca Asparagaceae
Yucca baccata Banana Yucca Asparagaceae
Yucca decipiens Palma China Asparagaceae
Yucca elephantipes Spineless Yucca, Giant Yucca Asparagaceae
Yucca filifera Tree Yucca Asparagaceae
Yucca glauca Soapweed Yucca Asparagaceae
Yucca gloriosa Mound Lily, Spanish Dagger Asparagaceae
Yucca grandiflora Large-flowered Yucca Asparagaceae
Yucca linearifolia Linear Leaf Yucca Asparagaceae
Yucca mixtecana Thin-stemmed Yucca Asparagaceae
Yucca periculosa Izote Yucca Asparagaceae
Yucca recurvifolia Curve Leaf Yucca, Pendulous Yucca Asparagaceae
Yucca rupicola Twistleaf Yucca Asparagaceae
Yucca treculeana Spanish Dagger, Palma Pita Asparagaceae
Yucca utahensis Utah Yucca Asparagaceae
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