Sunday, August 24, 2014

Torrey Yucca

Four species of yuccas grow in Big Bend National Park—I believe this one is the Torrey Yucca, sometimes called the Spanish Dagger. The flowers require pollination by the Yucca Moth. Indiginous peoples ate the yucca fruit, and used the leaves to make cloth, rope, mats, sandals and baskets. Roots were used as soap and as a laxative. This species was named for John Torrey, a Columbia University botanist, who designated this yucca as a new species in 1859 (NPS; Wildflower.org). The Torrey Yucca in the United States is native to New Mexico and Texas.

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