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Yucca whipplei - Torr.

Common Name Our Lord's Candle
Family Agavaceae
USDA hardiness 7-11
Known Hazards The roots contain saponins[222]. Whilst saponins are quite toxic to people, they are poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass straight through. They are also destroyed by prolonged heat, such as slow baking in an oven. Saponins are found in many common foods such as beans[K]. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K].
Habitats Dry, grassy and often stony slopes to 1200 metres[84].
Range South-western N. America - S. California, Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade
Yucca whipplei Our Lord


commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Stan_Shebs
Yucca whipplei Our Lord
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Takwish

 

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Summary

UPDATE 21/09/11: Yucca whipplei Torr. is a synonym of Hesperoyucca whipplei (Torr.) Trel.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Yucca whipplei is an evergreen Shrub growing to 2 m (6ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 8. It is in leaf all year, in flower from May to June. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs). The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Y. funifera. Hesperoyucca funifera. Hesperoyucca whipplei.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Cultivated Beds; East Wall. By. South Wall. By. West Wall. By.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Fruit  Seed  Stem
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked. Flowers - raw or cooked[46, 61, 84]. They are delicious raw, and can also be dried, crushed and used as a flavouring[84, 164]. Young flowers have been parboiled and eaten, whilst older flowers have been boiled in three lots of water before being eaten[257]. This suggests the flowers are quite bitter[K]. Flowering stem - raw or cooked[161]. It is best used when fully grown, but before the flower buds expand[95]. It can be peeled, cut into sections then cooked and used like asparagus[95, 164]. The roasted stems have been dried, ground into a powder then mixed with water to make cakes[257]. Seed - cooked. It can be ground into a powder or cooked and used as a gruel[46, 61, 161].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Fibre  Soap

A fibre obtained from the leaves is used for making ropes, baskets and mats[61, 82]. It is fine and white[92]. The leaves are used as paint brushes[92]. The roots are rich in saponins and can be used as a soap substitute[82]. Carbon Farming - Industrial Crop: fiber.

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Fiber  Management: Standard  Regional Crop

Thrives in any soil but prefers a sandy loam and full exposure to the south[11]. Requires a sunny position[11]. Prefers a hot dry position[166], strongly disliking winter wet[11]. Established plants are very drought tolerant[200]. Plants are hardier when grown on poor sandy soils[200]. Plants are hardy to at least -5°c[200] and tolerate short periods down to -10°c[187]. They grow well in the warmer maritime areas of Britain but need protection from winter rains[182]. Plants have survived to flowering at Kew and at Bodnant in N. Wales[187]. Cultivated as a fibre plant in Mexico[61]. A very ornamental plant[1], it requires late summer and autumn warmth to initiate flowering[11]. The flowers are sweetly scented[187]. Usually monocarpic, living for a number of years without flowering and dying after it does flower[11, 164]. Plants do produce suckers, however, and can be propagated by this means[78]. The flowers of most members of this genus can only be pollinated by a certain species of moth. This moth cannot live in Britain and, if fruit and seed is required, hand pollination is necessary. This can be quite easily and successfully done using something like a small paint brush. This species, however, is self-fertile and does not require the Yucca moth for pollination, setting fruit without hand pollination[11]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[233]. Carbon Farming - Cultivation: regional crop. Management: standard.

Carbon Farming

  • Industrial Crop: Fiber  Clothing, rugs, sheets, blankets etc. Currently, almost none of our fiber are produced from perennial crops but could be!
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. Pre-soaking the seed for 24 hours in warm water may reduce the germination time. It usually germinates within 1 - 12 months if kept at a temperature of 20°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for at least their first two winters. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer and consider giving them some winter protection for at least their first winter outdoors - a simple pane of glass is usually sufficient[K]. Seed is not produced in Britain unless the flowers are hand pollinated. Root cuttings in late winter or early spring. Lift in April/May and remove small buds from base of stem and rhizomes. Dip in dry wood ashes to stop any bleeding and plant in a sandy soil in pots in a greenhouse until established[78]. Division of suckers in late spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the following spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Chapparal Yucca. Spanish bayonet, Quiote.

Australia, Central America, Mexico, North America, USA

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Hesperaloe funiferaNew Mexico false yuccaPerennial1.8 6-9 SLMNDM002
Yucca aloifoliaSpanish Bayonet, Aloe yucca, Dagger Plant, Yucca, Spanish BayonetTree7.5 8-10 SLMHSNDM312
Yucca angustissimaNarrowleaf yucca, Kanab yucca, Toft's yucca, YuccaShrub0.4 4-9 SLMHSNDM304
Yucca baccataSpanish Bayonet, Banana yucca, Blue Yucca, Spanish YuccaShrub0.9 6-11 SLMHNDM415
Yucca brevifoliaJoshua Tree, Jaeger's Joshua tree, Yucca, Joshua TreeTree9.0 9-11 MLMHSNDM302
Yucca constrictaBuckley's YuccaPerennial1.5 8-11  LMHSNDM202
Yucca elataSoap Tree, Soaptree yucca, Soapweed, Soapweed YuccaShrub2.0 9-11 SLMHSNDM203
Yucca filamentosaSpoonleaf Yucca, Adam's needle, Desert Candle, Needle Palm, St. Peter's Palm, Spanish Bayonet, CommShrub1.2 4-10 MLMHSNDM314
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Yucca glaucaSoapweed, Soapweed yucca, Gurney's yucca, American Vetch, Yucca, Narrowleaf Yucca, SoapweedShrub1.5 4-10 SLMHSNDM222
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Yucca harrimaniaeSpanish Bayonet, New Mexico Spanish bayonetShrub0.4 6-9 SLMHSNDM202
Yucca recurvifoliaCurve-leaf yuccaShrub2.5 7-10  LMHSNDM302
Yucca rupicolaTwisted-Leaf Yucca, Texas yuccaShrub0.6 8-11  LMHSNDM202
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Yucca smallianaAdam's Needle, Weak-leaf yuccaShrub1.2 8-11  LMHSNDM202

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

Expert comment

Author

Torr.

Botanical References

11200

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