Yucca flaccida Haworth

Locations ofYucca flaccida Haworth in Virginia

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Detail

Family
Agavaceae
Botanical Name
Yucca flaccida Haworth
Common Name
Weakleaf Yucca
Synonym(s)
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
in Taxa Not Treated: Waifs
Comments
FNA recognizes this southeastern species but says it is perhaps not taxonomically distinct from Y. filamentosa. However, Ward (in Castanea 76, 2011) makes a strong case for their segregation. FNA does not attribute Yucca flaccida to VA, and Weakley says its occurrence in VA is apparently "the result of cultivation and persistence." However, the occurrences from dry, exposed clifftop woodlands and barrens in southwest Virginia seem clearly native and geographically consistent with the species' natural range. Yucca flaccida occurs on and around rock outcrops in its natural range from c. NC and TN to FL and AL. It also comes reasonably close to sw. Virginia in its Tennessee occurrences.

A 1943 record from Giles County (H.H. Iltis #2270 (US)) on a dry, open, south-facing, limestone, roadside slope has been determined to be an introduction. Plants occur at scattered roadside locations for several miles along Spruce Run Road but are absent from the natural limestone cliffs and outcrops above New River, a mere 0.25 mile from Iltis' station.

Like Yucca filamentosa, this species is also sometimes cultivated and may be escaped into ruderal habitats; critical evaluation of herbarium speciments residing under the name Y. filamentosa is needed.

Habitat
Native on exposed limestone cliffs, woodlands, and barrens along the Powell River in Lee County.
Native Status
Native

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