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Yucca baccata

Yucca baccata Torr.

Yucca baccata Torr. var. baccata

Yucca baccata Torr. var. vespertina McKelvey

Yucca confinis McKelvey

Yucca vespertina (McKelvey) S.L. Welsh

Banana Yucca, Blue Yucca, Spanish Bayonet, Spanish Dagger, Amole, Datil Yucca

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassLiliidaeIncludes lilies, orchids, and many others
OrderAsparagalesA diverse group that includes asparagus
FamilyAsparagaceaeAgaves, asparagus, hyacinths, and others
GenusYuccaLinnaeus mistakenly derived the genus name from the Carib word for (similar-appearing) cassava, yuca
SpeciesbaccataMeans “pulpy or berry-like fruits”

About plant names...

The name “banana yucca” refers to this yucca’s large fruits. The species name baccata means “fruited” as well.

Identification: Banana yuccas have large, stiff leaves 12-40" (30-101 cm) long × 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) wide. Leaves are blue-green, emerging from a common base, narrow and pointed, like an oversized clump of grass. The central flowering stalk, which is often elevated well above the cluster of leaves in other yuccas, may be within or barely above the leaves in this species, about 3-5' (1-1.5 m) high. Flowers are cream-colored, and copious, 1½-3½" (3.8-8.9 cm) long, hanging downward like inverted urns.

See the Yucca page for a comparison with other yuccas.

Edibility: The Paiutes—native Americans who inhabited portions of the southwestern United States—dried the relatively large fruits for winter use. After removing fiber and seeds, fruits can also be baked and eaten.

Online References:

Yucca baccata on DesertUSA: Exploring the Southwest

Yucca baccata on Desert-tropicals.com

Yucca baccata on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database

Yucca baccata as Compiled by the Master Gardeners of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension

Yucca baccata on Wikipedia

References:

Irish, Mary & Irish, Gary, Agaves, Yuccas and Related Plants: A Gardener’s Guide, Timber Press, 2000, p. 236

Peterson, Lee Allen, Peterson Field Guides: Edible Wild Plants of Eastern/Central North America, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1977, p. 170

Yucca baccata (Banana Yucca, Blue Yucca, Spanish Bayonet, Spanish Dagger, Amole, Datil Yucca)

5/22/2009 · Oak Creek Vista, AZ

Yucca baccata description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Yucca baccata (Banana Yucca, Blue Yucca, Spanish Bayonet, Spanish Dagger, Amole, Datil Yucca)

2/24/2010 · Batiquitos Lagoon, Carlsbad, CA
≈ 3 × 2' (93 × 62 cm) ID is uncertain

Yucca baccata (Banana Yucca, Blue Yucca, Spanish Bayonet, Spanish Dagger, Amole, Datil Yucca)

2/24/2010 · Batiquitos Lagoon, Carlsbad, CA ID is uncertain

Yucca baccata (Banana Yucca, Blue Yucca, Spanish Bayonet, Spanish Dagger, Amole, Datil Yucca)

2/24/2010 · San Diego (Quail) Botanic Garden, Encinitas, CA

Yucca baccata (Banana Yucca, Blue Yucca, Spanish Bayonet, Spanish Dagger, Amole, Datil Yucca)

5/22/2009 · Wupatki National Monument, AZ
≈ 4½ × 7' (1.5 × 2.2 m)

Range: Zones 5-12:

About this map...