Yucca whipplei ssp. intermedia:

Yucca whipplei ssp. intermedia
In coastal sagebrush, Santa Susana Mountains, Ventura County, California. June 2003
Photo by Carl Wishner ©2003-2005

Yucca whipplei ssp. intermedia HAINES, Madroño 41(6): 43 "1940" (1941)

Yucca whipplei var. intermedia (Haines) Webber.
Yucca whipplei var. caespitosa Jones, M., West. Bot Contrib. 15: 59, 1929. (in part)

Type location:
Malibu Lake, Santa Monica Mountains, California.

Santa Monica and Santa Susana Mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. It grows  from seal level to an altitude of 600 m.

Short description of the species:
Plants very similar to Yucca whipplei ssp. caespitosa, but with fewer and smaller rosettes, the single rosettes dying after flowering, but new rosettes starts from the base of the dying rosette and not by rhizomes. Leaves, bluish, 25 - 80 cm long, up to 1 to 2 cm wide, margin of the leaves corneous and finely serrulate (with very small teeth), has a very sharp spine at the tip of the leaves, the backside of the leaves scabrous (rough). Inflorescence only one flower from each group of rosettes, paniculate, 150 to 475 cm tall. Scape held high above the leaves from 15 cm up to as long as 220 cm ! Flowers campanulate (bell shaped) wide open, 2 to 6,5 cm long, white or with a purple tinge. Fruit 3 to 5 cm long, 1,5 to 3 cm thick, rarely constricted. Seeds black, shiny, 0,6 to 0,7 x 0,8 cm, with marginal wing.

I have not had any experience with this species yet. But when you look at how low an altitude it is to be found, it may not be able to handle much frost!


#1122A, Yucca whipplei ssp. intermedia
Agoura Hills, California 270 m. fh 1179.6, sown June 1th 1999.
Photo from May 19th 2000.
Photo by Benny Moeller Jensen ©2000-2005.


Yucca whipplei ssp. intermedia
In coastal sagebrush, Santa Susana Mountains, Ventura County, California. June 2003. Coastal scrub associates are as follows: Eriogonum fasciculatum foliolosum in foreground; Artemisia californica (gray-green shrub in middle ground of the outer left photo); and Ericameria pinifolia (in silhouette on ridgeline in the right background of the outer left photo).

Photo by Carl Wishner ©2003-2005
1.        According to many authors this subspecies is "just" a natural variation of Yucca whipplei.

2.        Some authors place Yucca whipplei and it's subspecies in the Genus Hesperoyucca. One of the reasons to this is that the seedlings form a distinct bulb which no other Yucca does. another reason cold also be that Yucca whippleiand it's subspecies are pollinated by another species of Yucca moth which only do feed on Yucca whipplei! The flower is also quite different than the flowers on other species of Yucca.


CLARY, Karen H., (http://www.agavaceae.com/botanik/pflanzen/botanzeige_scan_en.asp?gnr=220&scan=22190&cat=5&name=Hesperoyucca%C2%A0newberryi)
HAINES (1940) Madroño 6: 43 "1940" (1941) (Yucca whipplei ssp. intermedia)
HOCHSTÄTTER, F; (2000), YUCCA (vol. I): 19-20 (Yucca whipplei ssp. intermedia)
MCKELVEY (1947)  Yuccas southwest. U.S. 2: 23-49 (1947) (Yucca whipplei)
WEBBER (1953)  Agric. Monograph U.S.D.A. 17:34 (1953)  (Yucca whipplei var. intermedia)
THIEDE, J., Illustrated handbook of succulent plants vol. 1. (Monocotyledons (Eggli ed.)): 85-87, 2002. (Hesperoyucca whipplei).

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