Yucca baccata (Set 1)

Banana Yucca - Yucca baccata
East of Hillsboro
New Mexico, USA

On a walk east of Hillsboro on the 30th of May 2017, we saw the Banana Yucca, Yucca baccata, shown above and below.  This species also goes by the English Common Names of Datil Yucca, Blue yucca, Fleshy-fruited Yucca, and Agavaceae.  It has several scientific synonyms including; Sarcoyucca baccata, Yucca baccata f. fragiifolia, Yucca baccata var. hystrix, etc. [see links above].  There are currently three recognized subspecies - the nominate form, Y. b. thornberi, and Y. b. vespertina.  

This species was first described by John Torrey as part of William Hemsley Emory’s survey of the U.S./Mexican Boundary survey in 1859.

As indicated in the BONAP map to the right, this species has a limited range within the United States.  In Mexico, its range is restricted to Sonora and Chihuahua.  There is a report of a disjunct population in Columbia. (?)

Charlie McDonald describes how the indigenous peoples used Banana Yucca as a food source and for a variety of other uses, at this link.  The Native American Ethnobotany Data Base describes other uses of this species by the Apaches and other tribes.

This species is protected in the states of Arizona and Nevada.

A specimen of this species was collected by Augustus Fendler on 3 June 1847 near Santa Fe, New Mexico.  The specimen sheet is shown below.



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© Robert Barnes 2018