Monday, March 15, 2010

Mojave Yucca

The Mojave yucca, also known as the Spanish dagger, is found in southeastern California, southern Nevada, western Arizona and Baja California. It has a crown of spirally arranged bayonet-like leaves, two to four feet long and 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide, on top of a conspicuous trunk. The one below was found on the Chuckwalla Bench.
It has white to purple bell-shaped flowers at the top of the stem when it flowers in the spring. The remaining Mojave yucca photographed below were found in Mission Creek Canyon in the San Bernardino Mountains.
The flowers depend on pollination by the small, white pronuba moth, as does the chaparral yucca I blogged yesterday.
The leaf fibers, like the chaparral yucca, were used by the Indians for sandals, rope and cloth and the roots were used to make soap. The flowers and fruit were also eaten and the seeds were ground into flower.

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