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Yucca torreyi Shafer
Torrey's yucca, Torrey yucca
Agavaceae (Century-Plant Family)
Synonym(s): Yucca baccata var. macrocarpa, Yucca crassifolia, Yucca macrocarpa
USDA Symbol: YUTO
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
The Torrey yucca sometimes reaches a height of 20 feet, but more commonly 3–10 feet. The trunk is often branched, but sometimes has a single stem. The flower head may extend to 2 feet on the upper portion of the stem. The flowers are bell-shaped, 2–3 inches long, creamy-white or tinged with purple, waxy, with 6 tepals, 6 stamens, and 1 pistil which is 1–1 1/2 inches long. Leaves are 2–4 1/2 feet long, straight and rigid, ending in a sharp spine 1 1/2–2 inches long, they radiate around the stem.
This species was named for John Torrey (1796-1873), the Columbia University botanist, who designated this yucca as a new variety in 1859. Native Americans ate the pulpy fruits of this and related shrubby species either raw or roasted; they also dried and ground them into meal for winter use. The coarse fibers of the long leaves were made into ropes, mats, sandals, baskets, and cloth.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
, TX Native Distribution:
SW. Texas including Trans-Pecos Texas, S. New Mexico, and NE. Mexico; at 2000-5000 (610-1524 m).
Dry soils of plains, mesas, and foothill slopes; in desert grassland and shrub
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Cold Tolerant: yes
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
NPSOT - Austin Chapter
- Austin, TX
Record Last Modified: 2009-02-20
Research By: TWC Staff