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Dale W. McNeal, except as noted

Perennial herb, shrub, tree, fibrous succulent or not, from bulbs or rhizomes. Stem: above ground or not, branched or not. Leaf: simple, deciduous or not, basal or in terminal rosettes, generally sessile, linear, lanceolate, oblanceolate or ovate, fibrous or not, thin and flexible or thick and rigid or succulent; margin entire, fine-serrate, dentate, or with filaments, tips rigid or flexible, with a spine or not. Flower: bisexual; perianth parts 6, in 2 petal-like whorls, free or ± fused; stamens 6, ± fused to perianth, filaments often wide, succulent; ovary superior or inferior, chambers 3, style 1 (thick, poorly defined), stigma head-like or 3-lobed. Fruit: capsule, indehiscent, loculicidal, or septicidal. Seed: few to many, ± flat or ovoid, generally black.
23 genera, 637 species: worldwide. —Scientific Editors: Dale W. McNeal, Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Agavaceae


William J. Hess

Shrub-like, dying after fruiting or not; rosettes >=1, clumped or not. Leaf: linear to narrow-lanceolate, thick, ± rigid, glaucous, spine-tipped, margins ± yellow, fine-toothed. Inflorescence: scapose, panicle, cylindric, glabrous, exceeding rosettes; peduncle generally > 2.5 cm wide; bracts generally reflexed. Flower: bisexual; perianth bell-shaped or spheric, parts free, wide-lanceolate, white to ± green or purple-tinged; stamens thick, generally > pistil; ovary superior, stigma head-like. Fruit: erect, obovoid, loculicidal. Seed: many per chamber, 6–9 mm diam, thin, flat, dull black.
3 species: Arizona, California, northern Mexico. (Greek: western yucca)
Unabridged etymology: (Greek: hesperos (western), yucca)
Unabridged references: [Baker 1892 Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1892:8]

H. whipplei (Torr.) Trel.
Stem: ± 0. Leaf: 40–100 cm, 0.7–2 cm wide, ± gray-green; expanded base 4–7 cm, 4–7 cm wide, ± white to ± green. Inflorescence: 1 per rosette; 2–40 dm, dense; peduncle 15–35 dm; branches, flowers many. Flower: perianth ± 4 cm, white or cream to ± green, purple-tinged or -tipped or not; filaments linear below, tip club-like; pistil 1–1.5 cm, stigma domed, green, clear-papillate. Fruit: 3–5 cm, 1.5–4 cm wide.
Chaparral, coastal, desert scrub; < 2500 m. s Sierra Nevada (especially e slope), South Coast Ranges, Southwestern California, East of Sierra Nevada (Deep Springs Valley), sw edge Mojave Desert; northern Baja California. [Yucca whipplei Torr.; Hesperoyucca whipplei var. graminifolia Trel.; Yucca californica Groenl.; Yucca graminifolia Alph. Wood, illeg.; Yucca nitida S. Watson; Yucca ortgiesiana Roezl ex Ortgies; Yucca whipplei subsp. caespitosa (M.E. Jones) A.L. Haines; Yucca whipplei var. caespitosa M.E. Jones; Yucca whipplei subsp. intermedia A.L. Haines; Yucca whipplei var. intermedia (A.L. Haines) J.M. Webber; Yucca whipplei subsp. parishii (M.E. Jones) A.L. Haines; Yucca whipplei var. parishii M.E. Jones; Yucca whipplei subsp. percursa A.L. Haines; Yucca whipplei var. percursa (A.L. Haines) J.M. Webber] Apr–May [Online Interchange]
Unabridged note: Growth form variable; infraspecific taxa questionable.

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 27 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Hesperoyucca, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 27 2015

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click for enlargement Hesperoyucca whipplei
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Charles Webber © 1998 California Academy of Sciences

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Hesperoyucca whipplei Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.