Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Yucca faxoniana, Spanish Bayonet

Eve's-Needle has white or greenish-white flowers along a long flower erect stem. The flowers are hanging (pendulous). The fruits are also pendent, elongated and baccate seeds are black.  Yucca faxoniana Eve's-Needle blooms from March to April in Texas and prefer elevations between 2,500 to 6,800 feet (800-2100m). Preferred habitat types are hillsides, rocky slopes, flat desert areas and flat plains.  Yucca faxoniana Eve's-Needle has green, evergreen leaves that are long and bayonet-like. The leaves are erect and yellowish green, rigid, smooth and glabrous. The leaves margins have conspicuous curling filiferous brown hairs. Yucca faxoniana Eve's-Needle is also called; Carneros Yucca, Giant Dagger, Faxon Yucca, Spanish Bayonet and Spanish Dagger. The plants are trees or shrubs with solitary arborescent 1-stem trunks with 1 or more branches also erect. Yucca faxoniana is relatively rare and uncommon the United States where it occurs in southern New Mexico and southwestern Texas (centered in Big Bends National Park in the in the central Rio Grande valley in the Chihuahuan Desert. Yucca faxoniana

Scientific Name: Yucca faxoniana
Common Name: Eve's-Needle

Also Called: Carneros Yucca, Faxon Yucca, Giant Dagger, Spanish Bayonet, Spanish Dagger, (Spanish: Palma de San Pedro, Palma Samandoca, Palma Barreta, Palma Loca, Palmilla)

Family: Agavaceae, Agave or Century Plant Family (Reclassified to Asparagaceae)

Synonyms: (Samuela carnerosana, Samuela faxoniana, Yucca carnerosana)

Status: Native

Duration: Perennial

Size: 8 to 23 feet tall, (2.5-6.9 m) including flowering (inflorescence) stems.

Growth Form: Tree or shrub; plants solitary and erect, arborescent 1 stem or trunk, 1 or 2 branches upright.

Leaves: Green, evergreen, leaves long, bayonet-like, erect, yellowish green, rigid, smooth, glabrous, leaf margins conspicuous, curling with filiferous hairs, brown.

Flower Color: White to greenish white, flowering stem (inflorescence) erect, paniculate; flowers hanging (pendulous); fruits are pendent, elongated and baccate seeds are black.

Flowering Season: March to April

Elevation: 2,500 to 6,800 feet (800 - 2100 m)

Habitat Preferences: Hillsides, rocky slopes, flat desert areas, flat plains.

Recorded Range: Eve's Needle is relatively rare and uncommon the United States where it occurs in southern New Mexico and southwestern Texas (centered in Big Bends National Park in the in the central Rio Grande valley in the Chihuahuan Desert. It is also native to northeast Mexico where it occurs in larger numbers in (Chihuahua, Coahuila).

North America & US County Distribution Map for Yucca faxoniana.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: In North America there are 28 species and 45 accepted taxa overall for Yucca. World wide, The Plant List includes 49 accepted species names and includes a further 196 infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 8 species of Yucca, California has 3 species, Nevada has 5 species, New Mexico has 10 species, Texas has 18 species, Utah has 7 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

Comments: Eve's Needle or Spanish Bayonet is often used for landscaping in arid and semiarid regions of Texas and New Mexico with its dramatic form and showy flowers.

In Southwestern Desert Flora also see: Banana Yucca, Yucca baccata; Blue Yucca, Yucca rigida; Beaked Yucca, Yucca rostrata; Joshua Tree, Yucca brevifolia and Soaptree Yucca, Yucca elata.

Importance to Wildlife, Birds and Livestock
The sweet oblong fruits of Yucca species, and their seeds as well are fed on by birds, deer, small mammals and nectar-feeding bats.

Special Value to Native Bees, Butterflies and Insects
Yucca's attract many butterflies, moths and insects however actually records appear absent for this species in particular. Yucca Moths of the genus Tegeticula are known to pollinate Yucca flowers. - Find out more from (BOMONA) Butterflies and Moths of North America.

The genus Yucca is from the Carib (Island Carib, South America) name for "manihot" or "cassava" which is a Euphorbia genus erroneously applied to the Yucca genus because of the lily-like appearance of the sword-like leaves. The genus Yucca was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.

The species epithet "faxoniana" is named in honor of Charles Edward Faxon (1846-1918), an American botanical artist and instructor of botany. Mr. Faxon was born in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.

The fruit of Yucca faxoniana is used as a food source, raw, roasted or dried and ground into meal. The plant leaves are also used as a fiber in basketry, cloth, mats, ropes and sandals. The roots were also used as a red pattern element in Apache baskets.

Date Profile Completed: 01/05/2020
USDA Plants Database - (accessed 01/03/2020).
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 01/03/2020).
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet (accessed 12/20/2019). Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
William J. Hess & R. Laurie Robbins FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 26 | Agavaceae | Yucca, 2. Yucca faxoniana Sargent, Man. Trees. 121. 1905. Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Yucca faxoniana', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 12 July 2019, 10:15 UTC, [accessed 20 December 2019]
Wikipedia contributors, 'Tegeticula', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 20 October 2019, 11:08 UTC, [accessed 20 December 2019]
Wikipedia contributors, 'Charles Edward Faxon', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 27 June 2019, 21:10 UTC, [accessed 20 December 2019]
SEINet synonyms, scientific names, geographic locations, general information, (accessed 12/20/2019).

ETYMOLOGY: Michael L. Charters; California Plant Names: Latin and Greek Meanings and Derivations; A Dictionary of Botanical and Biographical Etymology; (accessed 01/05/2020)