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Yucca harrimaniae

Yucca harrimaniae Trel.

 

Spanish Bayonet, New Mexico 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
SpeciesharrimaniaeNamed for Mrs. Edward Henry Harriman

About plant names...

Linnaeus’ choice of the word Yucca is unclear, since the only existing meaning for the word at the time referred to the unrelated cassava plant, but harrimainiae acknowledges the philanthropic contributions of railroad tycoons Mr. and Mrs. Edward Henry Harriman, who funded expeditions.

Identification: These yuccas are found in groups of one to twenty tufts, each about 12-39" (30-100 cm) around. Each tuft consists of stiff, narrow, sharp-pointed leaves about 4-20" (10-50 cm) × ¼-½" (7-14 mm). Flowers are urn-shaped, white, cream, or greenish white, sometimes tinged with purple, with purplish buds. They have 3 petals and 3 sepals. Flowers 1½-2" (4-6 cm) long × ⅝-1¼" (1.6-3.5 cm) wide. Seed pods are cylindrical, 1¼-2" (3.5-6 cm) long × ½-1" (1.5-3 cm) in diameter. The closely similar species Yucca angustissima may be the same as this species, as discussed here.

See the Yucca page for a comparison with other yuccas.

Online References:

Yucca harrimaniae on Benny Møller Jensen's Denmark site, www.bennyskaktus.dk

Yucca harrimaniae on Wildflowers, Ferns & Trees of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah

Yucca harrimaniae at the United States National Parks Service

Yucca harrimaniae on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Yucca harrimaniae on Erv Evans' site at the North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

References:

Irish, Mary & Irish, Gary, Agaves, Yuccas and Related Plants: A Gardener’s Guide, Timber Press, 2000, p. 259

Ingram, Stephen, Cacti, Agaves and Yuccas of California and Nevada, Cachuma Press, 2008, p. 170

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

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Yucca harrimaniae (Spanish Bayonet, New Mexico Yucca)

9/20/2014 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA

Yucca harrimaniae (Spanish Bayonet, New Mexico Yucca)

5/22/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 3½ × 2½' (1.2 × 0.8 m)

Range: Zones 5a-10a:

About this map...