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Comments

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Perhaps Yucca flaccida should be considered a variety of Y. filamentosa. The morphological differences are minor. The former has thinner, narrower leaves, and smaller, narrower flowers 4–5 cm long, whereas Y. filamentosa has thick, rigid leaves and flowers 5–7 cm long. Yucca freemanii was described from plants growing in northeastern Texas and southwestern Arkansas. These plants were reported to be glabrous, but some plants that are otherwise attributable to Y. freemanii are mostly pubescent through the infloresecence, and overall they fall within the variation range of Y. flaccida. Yucca flaccida is cultivated in some of the northern states and Canada, where it sometimes has naturalized.

The results of DNA studies by K. H. Clary (1997) are incongruent with our treatment of Yucca flaccida, which warrants further research. It is the only dry-fruited species that groups with the fleshy-fruited ones in Clary’s consensus tree, where Y. flaccida and Y. filamentosa are quite distant. DNA variation indicates that Y. louisianensis is genetically distinct and more closely related to Y. filamentosa than to Y. flaccida.

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Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
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Flora of North America Vol. 26: 425, 433, 434, 437, 438 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
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Description

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Plants cespitose, forming small colonies, erect, acaulescent or rarely short-caulescent, 1–3 m; rosettes usually small, slowly dying after flowering. Stems simple, to 0.3 m. Leaf blade erect, proximal leaves becoming reflexed at middle in age, lanceolate, gradually tapering to apex, thin, widest near middle, 40–80 × 1–4(–5) cm, rigid or soft and limp, glabrous, margins entire, filiferous, apex spinose. Inflorescences paniculate, arising beyond rosettes, narrowly ovoid, 4–15 dm, mostly pubescent; bracts erect, proximal to 25 cm, distal 2–3 cm; peduncle scapelike, 0.5–2.8 m, 0.5–4 cm diam. Flowers pendent; tepals distinct, white, creamy white, or light greenish white, lanceolate to elliptic, 3–5 × 1–3 cm, mostly pubescent, apex obtuse; filaments 1.2–2.2 cm; pistil 1.5–3.8 cm; ovary pale green, 1.5 cm; style greenish white to white, papillate; stigmas lobed; pedicel 1.5–3 cm. Fruits erect, capsular, dehiscent, oblong, obpyriform, or conical, 3.5–4 × 1.5–2 cm, dehiscence septicidal. Seeds dull black, thin, 6–8 × 5–6 mm.
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Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 26: 425, 433, 434, 437, 438 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
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Flora of North America @ eFloras.org
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Flora of North America Editorial Committee
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eFloras.org
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Habitat & Distribution

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Flowering spring. Sand pine-scrub oak, mixed pine-hardwood woodlands, old fields, coastal sands, open or semiopen sites and pine plantations; Ont.; Ala., Ark., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kans., La., Md., Mich., Miss., Mo., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Wis.
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cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 26: 425, 433, 434, 437, 438 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
source
Flora of North America @ eFloras.org
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Flora of North America Editorial Committee
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eFloras.org
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Synonym

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Yucca concava Haworth; Y. filamentosa Linnaeus var. concava (Haworth) Baker; Y. filamentosa var. flaccida (Haworth) Engelmann; Y. filamentosa var. glaucescens (Haworth) Baker; Y. filamentosa var. puberula (Haworth) Baker; Y. filamentosa var. smalliana (Fernald) H. E. Ahles; Y. flaccida var. glaucescens (Haworth) Trelease; Y. flaccida var. major (Baker) Rehder; Y. freemanii Shinners; Y. glaucescens Haworth; Y. louisianensis Trelease; Y. orchioides Carrière var. major Baker; Y. puberula Haworth; Y. smalliana Fernald
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Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 26: 425, 433, 434, 437, 438 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
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Flora of North America @ eFloras.org
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Flora of North America Editorial Committee
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eFloras.org
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Yucca flaccida

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Yucca flaccida, commonly called Adam's needle[3] or weak-leaf yucca,[4] is a species of flowering plant in the asparagus family (Asparagaceae). It is native to south-central and southeastern North America, from the lower Great Plains eastward to the Atlantic seaboard in Virginia, south through Florida and the Gulf states.[5] Its natural habitat is in sandy open woodlands and fields.[3]

Description

It is a stemless evergreen shrub growing to 55 cm (22 in) tall by 150 cm (59 in) broad. It has a basal rosette of sharply pointed, swordlike leaves up to 55 cm (22 in) long. In summer, 150 cm (59 in) long panicles of bell-shaped creamy white flowers are held above the foliage.[6]

The Latin specific epithet flaccida means "weak", "feeble", referring to the leaves which often fold under their own weight (the inner leaves may remain erect as they are supported by the outer ones).[7]

Taxonomy

Some authorities regard Y. flaccida as a variety or form of Y. filamentosa, rather than as a separate species.[3]

Populations in the South Central Region of the United States with unusually narrow leaves have been segregated as Y. louisianensis by some authorities.[8][9] This entity is found in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.[10]

Ecology

A number of yucca moths lay their eggs upon Y. flaccida as a host plant, an example being Tegeticula intermedia.[11]

Cultivation

It is cultivated and valued as an architectural plant.[6] Numerous cultivars are available, some with variegated leaves, of which 'Golden Sword'[12] and 'Ivory'[13] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[14]

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    Yucca flaccida can be identified by its pubescent inflorescence branches[8]

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    Western populations have unusually narrow leaves, and are sometimes treated as a separate species called Y. louisianensis

References

  1. ^ "International Plant Names Index (IPNI) -Yucca flaccida". Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  2. ^ Tropicos, Yucca flaccida
  3. ^ a b c "Flora of North America (FNA) - Yucca flaccida". Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Yucca flaccida". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  5. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  6. ^ a b RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
  7. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845337315.
  8. ^ a b Alan Weakley (2015). "Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States".
  9. ^ Diggs, George; Lipscomb, Barney; Reed, Monique; O'Kennon, Robert (2006). Illustrated Flora of East Texas, Volume 1. Botanical Research Institute of Texas. p. 684.
  10. ^ "Yucca louisianensis". County-level distribution map from the North American Plant Atlas (NAPA). Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  11. ^ "Tegeticula intermedia". tolweb.org. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  12. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Yucca flaccida 'Golden Sword'". Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  13. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Yucca flaccida 'Ivory'". Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  14. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 108. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
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Yucca flaccida: Brief Summary

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Yucca flaccida, commonly called Adam's needle or weak-leaf yucca, is a species of flowering plant in the asparagus family (Asparagaceae). It is native to south-central and southeastern North America, from the lower Great Plains eastward to the Atlantic seaboard in Virginia, south through Florida and the Gulf states. Its natural habitat is in sandy open woodlands and fields.

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