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Spanish Dagger
Yucca aloifolia

Spanish Dagger, Yucca aloifoliaThe Spanish dagger is commonly grown in our area.  I keep this one trimmed back to a rather small size.  It does discourage those inclined to climb over walls.

Spanish Dagger, Yucca aloifoliaThese are the leaves of the Spanish dagger.  When mature, the tips become dry, hard, and very sharp, as the common name of the plant suggests.

Spanish Dagger, Yucca aloifoliaWhen permitted, the Spanish dagger grows to tree size.  Here you can see how old leaves remain attached to the trunk.

Spanish Dagger, Yucca aloifoliaThe large flower stalk rises from the end of the branch.

Spanish Dagger, Yucca aloifoliaThe massive trunk of the yucca sits on the surface of the ground, with hundreds of small, shallow roots radiating outward. The roots soak up what little rain falls in the desert quickly, and the water is stored in the spongy trunk. Each time I hit this stump with my pick, it splashed!

Spanish Dagger, Yucca aloifoliaThis block had no green on it when I cut it off the trunk. It hads been sitting on the cement patio for more than two years when I took this picture. It gets water only when rain floods the patio (Not often in Southern California).

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