yucca(redirected from Yucca gloriosa)
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a genus of tree-like evergreen plants of the family Agavaceae. The stems sometimes reach a height of 12 m; they are capable of secondary thickening, reaching a diameter of 30 cm. The sword-shaped, tough leaves are frequently greater than 1 m long; they form a ring around the stem or a basal rosette. The campanulate flowers are in groups of as many as 300 in large pyramidal terminal panicles measuring 0.2–5 m high. Pollination is by moths of the genus Pronuda. The fruit is a dry capsule, or it is succulent and indehiscent. In some species the fruit is edible.
There are about 40 species, distributed primarily in arid regions of Central America and southern North America. The leaves of the Adam’s needle (Y. filamentosa), the Spanish dagger (Y. gloriosa), and other species yield fiber used for making bagging, rope, and basketry. Yuccas are cultivated as ornamentals in the USSR (the Crimea and the Caucasus).