Mojave Yucca

Common Names:
Mojave Yucca, Spanish Dagger
Scientific name:
Yucca schidigera
Synonyms:
Yucca macrocarpa, Yucca californica, Yucca mohavensis
Elevation range:
<7,500 ft.
Flowering Months:
April, May
Height | Length:
3-15 ft.
Life Cycle | Lifeform:
Tree
Pollinator or food source for:
Notes:
Food for insects & larvae, Attracts butterflies
Ancestral Usage:
food, medicinal, clothing/shoes, basketry/tools
State Occurrences:
Desert region:
Chihuahuan, Mojave, Sonoran
Comments: 

Martin's Giant Skipper butterfly deposit eggs on this plant. Native people used fibers for sandals.

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Mojave Yucca in the desert

Yucca schidigera has creamy white cup-shaped blossom often streaked with maroon. The inflorescence is a densely packed cluster of flowers generally erect at the top of the stems. Pipes Canyon, CA | March 23, 2013

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Mojave Yucca in the desert

Yucca schidigera is a shrub reaching a maximum height of about 15 ft. The leaves are dagger-shaped with very sharp spines at the point. As the leaves age, they fold back against the trunk forming a gray-brown skirt. Pipes Canyon | April 2006

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Mojave Yucca in the desert

The dried flower stalk of Yucca schidigera. Pipes Canyon, CA | March 23, 2013

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Mojave Yucca in the desert

Yucca schidigera was an important plant to Native Americans who used its leaves and fibers as thread, for weaving basketry, making shoes, tools and many other things.  Pipes Canyon | Nov 27, 2012

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Mojave Yucca in the desert

Detailed view of Yucca schidigera flowers. This plant is pollinated only by the Yucca Moth, and the Yucca Moth's larvae are dependent on the Mojave Yucca for food. This is called a mutalistic relationship between plant and pollinator.  Pipes Canyon, CA | March 2013

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Mojave Yucca in the desert

Yucca schidigera with a fresh coat of spring snow. Pipes Canyon, CA | May 2010

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Mojave Yucca  in the desert

Beautiful desert sunset with the silhouette of Yucca schidigera.  Pipes Canyon, CA | November 2012