Encyclopedia of Stanford Trees, Shrubs, and Vines

Yucca schottii Engelm. MOUNTAIN YUCCA. Arizona
AGAVACEAE (Agave family)

This beautuful plant is the most common yucca in the Arizona Garden. Its key field characteristics are consistent with the description in Irish (2000). The rigid leaves lack filaments on the leaf margins, easily distinguishing it from Y. schidigera. Irish's treatment describes accurately the habit and leaves seen in the campus population:

Medium-sized species 6-20 ft tall, often with a single trunk that has a few simple branches. The dark brown trunk is usually 8-12 inches wide [and much wider on the largest individual in the Arizona Garden, which has fallen over] and may be clear of dead leaves. The leaves are blue-green to gray-green in color, smooth to the touch, and slightly shiny. They are 1.5-3 ft l. and 1-2.5 in. wide and usually are straight and rigid but can be slightly curved. [campus individuals show both straight and curved leaves.] They are concave in cross section and are lined with an attractive light-brown stripe. They end in a sharp light brown terminal spine. (Irish, p. 270)

McKelvey (1938) wrote, regarding Y. schottii, quoting Sargent:

This is probably the least known of all our Yuccas in cultivation. There are a few noble specimens, however, in the gardens of Tucson, Arizona, and seeds have been distributed last year from the Arnold Arboreteum." It grew in the Arboretum of Stanford University as specimens collected by Dudley in 1897 and 1899 testify.

Yucca aloifolia | Yucca filifera | Yucca recurvifolia | Yucca schottii | Yucca schidigera | Yucca whipplei

Illustrations (links open new windows): gallery

Additions/Revisions:

Name derivation, genus | species Haitian: yuca, or manihot, because young inflorescences sometimes roasted for food | schot'tii: after Arthur Carl Victor Schott (1814-1875), one of the naturalists of the Mexican Boundary Survey.

Related material:

Botanical name index | Common name index | Family
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