Photo by Kenneth Fletcher © 2001-
I have got the pictures of this interesting looking Yucca from Kenneth Fletcher, he has found them growing in the woods near St. Mary's city Maryland. They are growing along a sandy hillside sloping down into a large river in southern Maryland and shaded by small trees and shrubs. Parts of the hillside were literally covered in the native Opuntia cactus (Opuntia humifusa). These Yucca were different than the ones you normally see planted around there (mostly Yucca filamentosa and Yucca gloriosa). All of them, even the smallest pups, had a short, skinny trunk, about 20 to 25 cm tall and 7 to 10 cm wide (8-10 inches tall and 3-4 inches wide) on the largest. The leaves were skinnier than most Yucca, around 45 cm (18 inches) or so long, and had a few filaments hanging off but not as much as the normal, native Yucca filamentosa. The leaf edges were not serrated.
The short trunk could suggest that this is a hybrid, but the rather
dark location could also be the reason to the trunks. The plants could
also be naturalized from cultivated specimens, which there are a lot of
in this area.
Any suggestions of what this species might be, is very welcome send your suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org
I have received many suggestion to what this species could be. Most were suggesting that they were Yucca gloriosa. I'm not sure they are Yucca gloriosa, while the plants has filaments at the leaf edges, and Yucca gloriosa does not have filamentous leaves. I more convinced that the plants might be Yucca filamentosa or hybrids involving Yucca filamentosa. The native/naturalized Yuccas in Maryland do produce seeds, so Tegeticula yuccasella (Yucca moths) do occur in the area and they may have made hybrids between the native, naturalized or cultivated Yuccas ?
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