AskDefine | Define yucca

The Collaborative Dictionary

Flicker \Flick"er\, n.
The act of wavering or of fluttering; fluctuation; sudden and brief increase of brightness; as, the last flicker of the dying flame. [1913 Webster]
(Zool.) The golden-winged woodpecker (Colaptes aurutus); -- so called from its spring note. Called also yellow-hammer, high-holder, pigeon woodpecker, and yucca. [1913 Webster] The cackle of the flicker among the oaks. --Thoureau. [1913 Webster]
Yucca \Yuc"ca\, n. (Zool.) See Flicker, n.,
[1913 Webster]
Yucca \Yuc"ca\, n. [NL., from Yuca, its name in St. Domingo.] (Bot.) A genus of American liliaceous, sometimes arborescent, plants having long, pointed, and often rigid, leaves at the top of a more or less woody stem, and bearing a large panicle of showy white blossoms. [1913 Webster] Note: The species with more rigid leaves (as Yucca aloifolia, Yucca Treculiana, and Yucca baccata) are called Spanish bayonet, and one with softer leaves (Yucca filamentosa) is called bear grass, and Adam's needle. [1913 Webster] Yucca moth (Zool.), a small silvery moth (Pronuba yuccasella) whose larvae feed on plants of the genus Yucca. [1913 Webster]

Word Net

yucca n : any of several evergreen plants of the genus Yucca having usually tall stout stems and a terminal cluster of white flowers; warmer regions of North America
see Yucca




  1. Any of several evergreen plants, of the genus Yucca, having long, pointed, and rigid leaves at the top of a woody stem, and bearing a large panicle of showy white blossoms.
The yuccas comprise the genus Yucca of 40-50 species of perennials, shrubs, and trees in the agave family Agavaceae, notable for their rosettes of evergreen, tough, sword-shaped leaves and large terminal clusters of white or whitish flowers. They are native to the hot and dry parts of North America, Central America, and the West Indies.
Yuccas have a very specialized pollination system, being pollinated by the yucca moth; the insect purposefully transfers the pollen from the stamens of one plant to the stigma of another, and at the same time lays an egg in the flower; the moth larva then eats some of the developing seeds, but far from all.
Yuccas are widely grown as ornamental plants in gardens. Many yuccas also bear edible parts, including fruits, seeds, flowers, flowering stems, and more rarely roots, but use of these is sufficiently limited that references to yucca as food more often than not stem from confusion with the similarly spelled but botanically unrelated yuca.
Dried yucca has the lowest ignition temperature of any wood, making it desirable for fire-starting.
The "yucca flower" is the state flower of New Mexico. No species name is given in the citation.



In the years from 1897 to 1907, Carl Ludwig Sprenger created and named 122 Yucca hybrids.

Other facts

Because of their omnipresence in the southwestern United States, yuccas have lent their name to several places:



yucca in Danish: Yucca
yucca in German: Yucca
yucca in Spanish: Yucca
yucca in French: Yucca
yucca in Italian: Yucca
yucca in Latin: Yucca
yucca in Lithuanian: Juka
yucca in Dutch: Yucca
yucca in Japanese: ユッカ
yucca in Polish: Jukka
yucca in Romanian: Yucca
yucca in Russian: Юкка
yucca in Simple English: Yucca
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