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Yucca schidigera (Mojave yucca)
Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn

Yucca schidigera

Yucca schidigera Roezl ex Ortgies

Mojave Yucca

Agavaceae (Century-Plant Family)

Synonym(s): Yucca californica, Yucca macrocarpa, Yucca mohavensis

USDA Symbol: YUSC2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Evergreen shrub or small tree, usually with several clustered trunks, often with few upright branches, and with bayonetlike leaves.

Native Americans ate the fleshy fruit, either fresh or roasted, and used the fibrous leaves for ropes and coarse blankets. A soap substitute can be obtained from the roots and trunks of this and other yuccas. Flowers in the Yucca genus depend upon the small, white pronuba moth (Tegeticula) for pollination. The female moth gathers pollen and works it into a tiny ball before pushing it against the stigma of another flower, where she deposits her eggs in the ovary. The larvae feed on the developing fruit capsule but leave some seeds to mature. This is a common yucca in the Mojave Desert, often growing with Joshua Tree (Y. brevifolia), a tree-like species that often forms "forests".


From the Image Gallery

5 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Up to about 15 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Flowers white or cream colored.


USA: AZ , CA , NV , UT
Native Distribution: Mojave Desert in NW. Arizona, S. Nevada, S. California, and N. Baja California; at 1000-6000' (305-1829 m), rarely higher.
Native Habitat: Brushy slopes, flats, and open deserts, including Creosote Bush desert and chaparral on dry, gravelly mountain and valley slopes.


Use Ornamental: Used as landscape plant in the southwest.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Yucca schidigera in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Yucca schidigera in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Yucca schidigera


Record Modified: 2010-07-19
Research By: TWC Staff

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