Yucca baccata

Yucca baccata Torrey, in Emory, U.S. and Mex. Bound. Bot. pg. 221 1859

Yucca baccata in Craig Howe's garden in Northern California.
Photo by Craig Howe ©2000-2008

Yucca baccata var. baccata
Yucca baccata var. brevifolia Benson & Darrow, in Amer. Jour. Bot. 30: 234.1943 (in part)
Yucca baccata var. grandiflora
Yucca baccata var. macrocarpa Torrey,  in Emory, U.S. and Mex. Bound. Bot. pg. 221.(1893)
Yucca sp. Torrey in Botany, Whipple Report 147 (1856)
Yucca circinata
Yucca baccata var. thornberi
Yucca circinata
Yucca scabrifolia Baker (1870)
Yucca filamentosa Wood in Roc. Acad. Sc. Phial. (1868) 167 (Nom. illeg., art 53.1)
Yucca filifera Hort ex. Engelmann (1873).
Yucca fragilifolia Baker (1870)

Subspecies, varieties and forma:
Yucca baccata var. vespertina McKelvey, in Yuccas Southwest. U.S. 1: 45, (1938)
Yucca baccata ssp. thornberi

Clones, and Hybrids:
In habitat it can be possible to find wild hybrids of of the following species:
Yucca baccata x Yucca torreyi
Yucca baccata x Yucca faxoniana
Yucca glauca x Yucca baccata  (around Santa Fe New Mexico)
Yucca baileyi x Yucca baccata, New Mexico, Santa Fe Co., Chimayo, located by Tom Mathies, Colorado.
Yucca harrimaniae x baccata, New Mexico, Lincoln Co., west of Coyote, 2030 m. Located by Eberhard Lutz (Lz2007).
Yucca baccata x schidigera.
Yucca elata x baccata.
Yucca baccata semi-variegata

Yucca baccata has also been used in hybrids made by hand pollination, I know of the following:

Yucca (aloifolia x elata) x baccata, hybrid made by Demeter Janakidisz in 2008.
Yucca ("Janakidisz hybrid" aloifolia x glauca ssp. stricta) x baccata, Made by F. Kurilla, Hungary.
Yucca glauca ssp. stricta x baccata, hybrid made by Demeter Janakidisz, Hungary.

Type location:
Hurrah Creek, Guadalupe Co., New Mexico

Mountains of the eastern Mohave Desert in California across southern Nevada, southwestern Utah and south western Colorado, as far east as Trinidad, south and south east to northern and central Arizona, mostly of New Mexico into south western Texas. It grows from 750 m up to 2500 m.

Short description of the species:
Yucca baccata  is highly variable, but are generally acaulescent or with a short prostate trunk, it's either a single rosette a large clump of plants, old plants in nature, will in time maybe have up to 6 or 8 rosettes on the same plant. Such an old plant may be 100 to 200 cm wide and up to 80 cm tall; Leaves rigid, spreading, about 50 to 75 cm long, 3,5 to 5 cm wide concave, rough, with a brown edge, splitting up as coarse curly fibers (1 to 3 cm long), leaves often twisting; Flowers white or cream, pendulous (bell shaped), 7 to 8 cm long, in an short upright panicle (up to 75 cm) between the leaves; Fruit fleshy, indehiscent 20 to 25 cm long (hence the common name Banana Yucca); Seeds are dull black, thick, and wingless.

Seeds of #1362 Yucca baccata, New Mexico, Cedar hill 1800 m., AM99/2504, sown 2000.

©2000-2008 Benny Moeller Jensen.

Related species in the Series Baccatae:
Yucca arizonica
Yucca baccata
Yucca baccata ssp. thornberi
Yucca baccata ssp. vespertina
Yucca confinis

Here in Northern Denmark it's only hardy, if it's protected against winter moisture, or grown in a pot which is stored dry inside a unheated greenhouse in the winter. But it survives in Columbus, Ohio (USDA zone 5-6), South Eastern Kansas (USDA zone 6), in the Netherlands (wet USDA zone 7-8) And in Hungary (USDA zone 5-6)

Cultivated plant in Hungary. photo by Andrew Treer, Hungary.
©1999-2008 Andrew Treer, Hungary.
Yucca baccata
A beautiful group on the Big Tubes hike at El Malpais National Monument.
Copyright © 1997-2008 Kenneth Ingham Consulting, LLC.
Yucca baccata
(BMJ #419) Moab, Utah, sown 1992.
©2003 Benny M. Jensen.
Yucca baccata
Grown in Alexander Heim's garden in Munich. Copyright 2008 Alexander Heim.
Yucca baccata
Grown in Alexander Heim's garden in Munich. Copyright 2008 Alexander Heim.

COVILLE, F. V., 1893, contrib.. US Nat. Herb. 4: 202-203
FERGUSON, D.J., in an email to Hardycacti_etc., Thu, 12 Oct 2000 09:02:04 -0700 (PDT) (Re: Yucca hybrid)
MCKELVEY, Yucca of the southwestern USA 1:30-45 (1938)
TORREY, in Emory, U.S. and Mex. Bound. Bot. pg. 221 (1859)
TORREY, in Botany, Whipple Report 147 (1856)
WEBBER, Agric. Monograph U.S.D.A. 17:27-31 (1953)

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Benny Møller Jensen