Yucca campestris


Yuccas Southw. U.S. 2: 173, plates 62, 63. 1947.

Common names: Plains yucca
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 438. Mentioned on page 425, 439.

Plants forming small or large, open colonies, acaulescent or occasionally caulescent and arborescent, rhizomatous; rosettes usually small. Stems 0.6–1 m. Leaf blade linear, plano-convex or plano-keeled, widest near middle, 40–65 × 0.3–0.7(–1.5) cm, rigid, margins entire, filiferous, white, apex spinose, spine acicular, 7 mm. Inflorescences paniculate, arising within or occasionally beyond rosettes, narrowly ellipsoid, 6–10 dm, distance from leaf tips to proximal inflorescence branches less than twice leaf length when fully expanded, glabrous; branches to 13 cm; bracts erect; peduncle scapelike, 0.5–1 m, less than 2.5 cm diam. Flowers pendent; perianth globose; tepals connate, dull green, sometimes tinged pink, 4.1–6.5 × 1.5–2.5 cm; filaments shorter than pistil, flaccid; anthers 3.2 mm; pistil ovoid to obovoid, 2.5–3 × 0.5–0.9 cm; style bright green; stigmas lobed. Fruits erect, capsular, dehiscent, symmetrical or rarely constricted, 4.5–5.5(–6.3) × 3–5 cm, dehiscence septicidal. Seeds glossy black, thin, 11–14 × 8–11 mm.

Phenology: Flowering spring.
Habitat: Deep sands
Elevation: 800–900 m


Yucca campestris is endemic to the plains region in the southern panhandle counties of western Texas. S. D. McKelvey (1938–1947) discussed its variation in relation to its distribution, and K. H. Clary’s (1997) DNA studies support its recognition as a distinct species. J. M. Webber (1953) considered Y. campestris to be a hybrid between Y. constricta and Y. elata, and reported a distribution from west Texas into southern New Mexico, and possibly into northwestern New Mexico. Additional study within these regions may help resolve the relationships and origin of this species.

Selected References


Lower Taxa