Monday, February 28, 2011


Members of the Agave family, yuccas are native to southern USA and Mexico. There are around thirty species, and most have stout woody trunks, rosettes of spiky leaves and big clusters of creamy white flowers. In the wild these fascinating plants have a mutually exclusive relationship with a moth (Tegeticula spp.). They provide food for the yucca moth, and it pollinates their flowers. Most yuccas have leaves tipped with sharp spines, hence common names like Spanish bayonet, Spanish dagger and Adam's needle. Yucca elephantipes, the plant we featured on Burke's Backyard, does not have sharp leaves. This beautiful species comes from the high country of Mexico and Central America, where it has long been valued for its medicinal and culinary uses.

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