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Yucca brevifolia – Joshua Tree

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Scientific Name

Yucca brevifolia Engelm.

Common Names

Joshua Tree, Yucca Palm, Tree Yucca, Palm Tree Yucca

Synonyms

Yucca brevifolia var. brevifolia, Cleistoyucca arborescens, Clistoyucca arborescens, Clistoyucca brevifolia, Sarcoyucca brevifolia, Yucca arborescens, Yucca jaegeriana

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Yucca

Description

Yucca brevifolia is a tree-like Yucca, up to 40 feet (12 m) tall, with a columnar, much-branched trunk forming a weird and picturesque, open crown. The stiff, blue-green leaves, are up to 14 inches (35 cm) long with yellow margins. The broad flower spikes are short (usually less than 3 feet/1.2 m) with a candelabra of side branches graced by 1.5 inches (3.7 cm), bell-shaped, fragrant, creamy-white flowers.

How to Grow and Care

Under the right conditions, Yucca are not difficult plants to grow. They tend to thrive on a little neglect, rather than too much attention. They are especially easy to overwater, and soggy stems are a sign of too much water. The best conditions for Yucca include a sunny corner with relatively low humidity. They are not prone to many pests, although scale can be an issue. Over time, plants will typically lose their lower leaves (in nature, they droop, forming a skirt around the trunk), giving the plant a pleasant “tree-like” appearance.

Yucca are relatively slow-growing plants that should only need to be repotted every other year. They do well slightly pot-bound, as long as they don’t become heavy enough to tip over their containers… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Yucca.

Origin

Native to the arid southwestern United States, specifically California, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada, where it is confined mostly to the Mojave Desert between 1,300 and 5,900 feet (400 and 1,800 m) elevation.

Links

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