En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - May 30, 2008

From: Lometa, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Are Yucca and Spanish dagger the same?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We have Yucca, and we have Spanish Dagger. We don't think they are the same thing. Are they?

ANSWER:

There are two plants in our Native Plant Database with the common name Spanish dagger:  Yucca treculeana (Spanish dagger) and Yucca aloifolia (Spanish dagger)—with photos from Auburn University Horticulture Department. I don't know which of these you have; but, as you can see, they both have the same genus name, Yucca; but different species names, aloifolia and treculeana. Additionally, there are lots of other species in the Genus Yucca and even some plants that have "yucca" as part of their common names, but are not in the Genus Yucca. I don't know which Yucca you have, probably Yucca arkansana (Arkansas yucca) or Yucca pallida (twistleaf yucca) where you live. Many plants that share common names are really different species. This is why botanists use the scientific names when referring to plants so that everyone knows exactly which plant they mean. So, the answer to your question is that both your plants are in the Genus Yucca and closely related, but are not exactly the same thing since they are different species.

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of volunteer tree
April 28, 2011 - I have a volunteer tree in my yard that has a mixture of serrated, non-serrated, and partially-serrated leaves on it. My tree identification guides all assume either serrated or non-serrated. How do...
view the full question and answer

Identification of perennial with dark red/purple flowers
November 17, 2011 - Need to identify a lovely perennial here in Norfolk, Virginia. It reseeds itself, spreads, and lingers into the late fall. It has rather thick, dark green, alternate spatulate leaves at the base wit...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant, probably Datura.
October 15, 2007 - We currently have in bloom a very leggy, about 2 foot high volunteer plant in Fredericksburg, TX that has a segmented stem, single large trumpet shaped flowers that stick straight up about 4 inches in...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 22, 2011 - I have a rather large berry growing on a tree-like bush in my back yard here in Williamsville Vermont, I've never seen anything like it! I have a picture.
view the full question and answer

Non-native eleagnus from Jesup GA
January 17, 2014 - An elderly farmer has told me about a plant called Alley Agnes, but I can't find any plant by this name anywhere. He doesn't know another name for it, says it's what everyone has always called it i...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center