Elefant feet yuca

Yucca gigantea (syn. Yucca elephantipes, Yucca guatemalensis),[1] is a Yucca species that is native to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the eastern part of Mexico (Quintana Roo, Yucatán, Campeche, Tabasco, Chiapas, Veracruz, eastern Puebla and southern Tamaulipas).[3] It is also reportedly naturalized in Puerto Rico, the Leeward Islands and Ecuador.[4]

Common names include spineless yucca, soft-tip yucca, blue-stem yucca, giant yucca and itabo. Its flower, the izote, is the national flower of El Salvador.

Although it can grow up to 9 m (30 ft) in height, with a spread to 4.5 m (15 ft), it is usually less than 6 m (20 ft) in height. It may have a thick, single trunk or be multitrunked resulting from a thickened, inflated, trunk-like lower base similar to an elephant's foot.[5][6] The leaves are strap-like, spineless and up to 1.2 m (4 ft) in length. White flowers are produced in the summer, followed by brown, fleshy fruits which are oval and up to 2.5 cm (1 in) long.

The species is most widely known today as Yucca elephantipes. The first mention of that name was by Eduard von Regel in February 1859. He claimed that a different species, Y. aloifolia, was sometimes known as "Yucca elephantipes" when grown in European gardens because of its thickened stem base.[7] However, since he did not intend to offer Y. elephantipes as the actual correct name, this was not a valid publication. In a major article on yuccas and allies in 1902, William Trelease also used the name Y. elephantipes, referring to Regel's 1859 publication.[8] This came too late though, as Yucca gigantea had by then already been previously established.[9][10]

Charles Lemaire published the name Yucca gigantea in November 1859.[9] This is the name used by the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families as of January 2014,[1] although other sources use Yucca guatemalensis, published by Baker in 1872.

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