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Banana Yucca
Spanish Bayonete

Yucca baccata

Yucca baccata photo © by Stan Shebs

This photo was taken by Stan Shebs in Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas, Nevada in May 2004. A full resolution image is hosted at Wikipedia

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Yucca baccata fruit photo © by Mike Plagens

Nearly mature fruit in the New River Mountains, Maricopa Co., Arizona. 28 May 2012.

SUCCULENT : A robust yucca with stiff, bayonete-like leaves. The leafy part may be two meters tall and the flowering stalk may extend up another meter. Usually with multiple stems from a common root crown.

LEAVES: Look for shredding fibers fraying away from leaf edges. The leaf tip has a sharp, very stout spine.

RANGE: Upper Sonoran Desert of Arizona and Sonora and hence into higher elevation Interior Chaparral and Piñon-Juniper vegetation types. These plants can regenerate after range fires that are not too hot.

FLOWERS: Large white flowers with six waxy sepals are borne in large spikes near the top of the plant. Unlike the agaves, it will bloom repeatedly year after year.

FRUIT: Oblong fleshy capsule with three valves. 10 to 20 cm.

Yucca baccata after range fire photo © by Mike Plagens

This plant was putting forth new, green growth after an extensive range fire in the western foothills of the Four Peaks, eastern Maricopa County, Arizona.

Agavaceae -- Agave Family

More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2012