Yucca gloriosa

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Spanish Dagger
Yucca gloriosa 10.JPG
Long-trunked Spanish Dagger
Conservation status

Apparently Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Yucca
Species: Y. gloriosa
Binomial name
Yucca gloriosa
L.
Yucca gloriosa range map.png
Natural range
Synonyms[1]
The flowers and branches of Yucca gloriosa
A native stand of Spanish Daggers on Virginia's Outer Banks

Yucca gloriosa (common name Spanish dagger) is a species of flowering plant in the family Asparagaceae, native to the southeastern USA, from the Outer Banks of Virginia and North Carolina to Florida and Alabama. It is also widely cultivated as an ornamental and reportedly has become established in the wild in France, Italy, Turkey, Mauritius, Réunion, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Argentina and Uruguay.[2]

Other common names include:-

  • Adam's needle
  • lord's candlestick      
  • mound lily
  • palm lily
  • Roman candle
  • Sea Islands yucca      
  • soft-tipped yucca
  • Spanish bayonet
  • tree lily

Description[edit]

Y. gloriosa is an evergreen shrub. The plant is known to grow to heights above 5 m (16 feet).[3] It is caulescent, usually with several stems arising from the base, the base thickening in adult specimens. The long narrow leaves are straight and very stiff, growing to 30–50 cm (12–20 in) long and 2-3.5 cm wide. They are dark green with entire margins, smooth, rarely finely denticulate, acuminate, with a sharp brown terminal spine. Inflorescence is a panicle up to 2.5 m (8 ft) long, of bell-shaped white flowers, sometimes tinged purple or red. Fruit is a leathery, elongate berry up to 8 cm long.[4][5][6][7][8]

Habitat[edit]

Yucca gloriosa grows on sand dunes along the coast and barrier islands of the subtropical southeastern USA, often together with Yucca aloifolia and a variety formerly called Yucca recurvifolia or Y. gloriosa var. recurvifolia, now Y. gloriosa var. tristis.[9] In contrast to Y. gloriosa var. tristis, the leaves of Y. gloriosa var. gloriosa are hard stiff, erect and narrower. On the other hand, Y. aloifolia has leaves with denticulate margins and a sharp-pointed, terminal spine.

Distribution[edit]

Yucca gloriosa is native to the coast and barrier islands of southeastern North America, growing on sand dunes. It ranges from extreme southeastern Virginia south to northern Florida. It is associated with Yucca filamentosa, Yucca aloifolia, and Opuntia species.

Cultivation[edit]

The plant is widely cultivated in warm temperate and subtropical climates, and valued as an architectural focal point. In a domestic environment, the plant has average water requirements, and little maintenance is needed other than the removal of dead leaves when the shrub nears its ultimate height.[10] The plant is very hardy, without leaf damage at −20 °C (−4 °F), and can handle snow and freezing temperatures.

Y. gloriosa[11] and the cultivar 'Variegata'[12] have both gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

Properties[edit]

Y. gloriosa has been known to cause skin irritation and even allergic reactions upon contact. The leaf points are even sharp enough to break the skin.[13]

Forms and varieties[edit]

In collections in Europe and overseas, there are many forms and hybrids (Sprenger, Förster) from the 18th and 19th centuries. The following names have been used for material of uncertain origin in the European garden flora.

  • Yucca gloriosa var. minor Carr.
  • Yucca gloriosa var. obliqua Baker
  • Yucca gloriosa f. obliqua (Harworth)Voss
  • Yucca gloriosa f. acuminata (Sweet)Voss
  • Yucca gloriosa f. pruinosa (Baker)Voss
  • Yucca gloriosa f. tortulata (Baker)Voss
  • Yucca gloriosa' var. medio-striata Planchon      
  • Yucca gloriosa var. robusta Carr.
  • Yucca gloriosa var. nobilis Carr.
  • Yucca gloriosa f. planifolia Engelmann
  • Yucca gloriosa var. plicata Engelmann
  • Yucca gloriosa var. genuina Engelmann
  • Yucca gloriosa var. flexilis Trelease
  • Yucca gloriosa var. plicata Carr.
  • Yucca gloriosa var. superba Baker
  • Yucca gloriosa var. longifolia Carr.
  • Yucca gloriosa var. muculata Carr.
  • Yucca pendula Sieber ex Carr.
  • Yucca pattens Andre
  • Yucca pruinosa Baker

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Plant List
  2. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Yucca gloriosa
  3. ^ "bss.sfsu.edu". Retrieved 1 March 2007. 
  4. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  5. ^ Flora of North America v 26 p 429
  6. ^ Linnaeus, Carl von. 1753. Species Plantarum 1: 319.
  7. ^ Wunderlin, R. P. 1998. Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida i–x, 1–806. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.
  8. ^ Radford, A. E., H. E. Ahles & C. R. Bell. 1968. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas i–lxi, 1–1183. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill.
  9. ^ World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2012-02-23 , search for "Yucca recurvifolia"
  10. ^ "cals.arizona.edu". Retrieved 1 March 2007. 
  11. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Yucca gloriosa". Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  12. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Yucca gloriosa 'Variegata'". Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "hgic.clemson.edu". Retrieved 1 March 2007. 

External links[edit]