Directory       News       Site Map       Home
    Jepson eFlora
Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.



William J. Hess

Shrub- or tree-like, generally branched from woody caudex, occasionally dying after fruiting. Leaf: rosette basal or at branch tips, 2–15 dm, linear, thick, ± rigid, stout-spine-tipped, bases ± expanded, margins generally curved up, entire or dentate, often fibrous-shredding. Inflorescence: panicle [raceme], erect (pendent), dense; peduncle generally < 2 cm wide; bracts generally ascending. Flower: generally pendent, 3–13 cm; perianth parts 6 in 2 whorls, generally ± fused, ± white, fleshy, waxy; stamens 6, filaments ± thick, fleshy; ovary superior, 3(6)-chambered, generally green, style short, often thick, poorly defined, stigmas 3-lobed, white to pale green. Fruit: berry-like or generally capsule, erect or pendent, tardily septicidal or generally indehiscent. Seed: ± many in 2 rows per chamber, often flat, black.
± 40 species: eastern coastal plain, southeastern, sc, & especially dry southwestern North America; northern, central-western Mexico, northern Central America. (Haitian: yuca or manihot, because young inflorescences occasionally roasted for food) Pollinated at night by small moths while laying eggs in ovary. Yucca whipplei moved to Hesperoyucca.
Unabridged references: [Hess & Robbins 2002 FNANM 26: 423–439]

Key to Yucca

1. Leaf margins minute-serrate, not fibrous-shredding; leaf 15–35 cm; fruit dry, spongy, or leathery in youth, spreading to erect in age; s High Sierra Nevada (e slope), Tehachapi Mountain Area, e East of Sierra Nevada, Mojave Desert ..... Y. brevifolia

1' Leaf margins fibrous-shredding, not serrate; leaf 30–150 cm; fruit fleshy in youth, pendent in age; s Southwestern California, s Mojave Desert, e Desert Mountains, nw Sonoran Desert

2. Stem ± 0 or short-decumbent, rosettes at tips, ± at ground; perianth parts 5–13 cm, fused > 1 mm; e Desert Mountains ..... Y. baccata var. baccata

2' Stem erect, rosettes at tips, well above ground; perianth parts 3–5 cm, free or fused < 1 mm; s Southwestern California (San Diego Co.), s Mojave Desert, nw Sonoran Desert ..... Y. schidigera


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
We encourage links to these pages, but the content may not be downloaded for reposting, repackaging, redistributing, or sale in any form, without written permission from The Jepson Herbarium.