• WordNet 3.6
    • n yucca 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
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Yucca (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.☞ 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.
    • n Yucca (Zoöl) See Flicker n., 2.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n yucca The name given in western South America to Manihot Aipi (see Manioc). The latter name is not known in Peru and Chile or Bolivia, only ‘yuca’ being used. It is extensively consumed as a vegetable. The name is also common throughout Central America.
    • n yucca A plant of the genus Yucca.
    • n yucca [capitalized] [NL. (Dillenius, 1719).] A genus of liliaceous plants, of the tribe Dracæneæ. It is characterized by a distinct woody stem, numerous panicled roundish or bell-shaped flowers with nearly or quite separate perianth-segments, small anthers sessile on a club-shaped filament, and an ovary with numerous ovules. There are about 20 species, natives of the United States, Mexico, and Central America. They are low upright perennials, sometimes trees, often with numerous branches. Their leaves are linear-lanceolate and thick, usually rigid and spiny-tipped, and crowded at the apex of the stem or branch. The handsome pendulous flowers are large and usually white or cream-colored, attaining a length of 3 inches in Y. baccata, and form a showy terminal inflorescence often several feet long, seated among clustered leaves or raised on a bracted peduncle. The fruit is either a dry loculicidal capsule or a pendulous berry which is fleshy or pulpy, sometimes cylindrical and elongated; in Y. brevifolia it becomes dry and spongy. The rootstock is saponaceous, and in Y. Treculeana and other species is much used by the Mexicans for soap—being included with various similar products under the name amole. The leaves yield a coarse fiber; the taller species also produce a fibrous wood which is heavy, spongy, and difficult to cut or work; it shows distinct concentric rings, unlike that of most monocotyledonous plants. Some species are said to reach the height of 50 feet and the thickness of 5 feet. The species are most numerous in the southern United States and northern Mexico; one, Y. angustifolia, extends from New Mexico to the Dakotas; three are Californian; three are well-known plants of the Southern States, Y. filamentosa, Y. aloifolia, Y. gloriosa (including Y. recurvifolia), all decorative plants, mostly stemless, thriving in poor soil, even in drifting sand of the coast: their flowers are white, tinged sometimes with green, yellow, or purple; they furnish a harsh, brittle, but very strong fiber, called dagger-fiber, used for packing and as a rude cordage. From their sharp-pointed leaves with threads hanging from their edges, Y. filamentosa and Y. aloifolia are known as Adam's needle and thread and as Eve's thread; the former is also called silk-grass (which see), and sometimes bear-grass, its young pulpy stems being eaten by bears. Y. aloifolia is also known in the Southern States and in the West Indies as Spanish dagger and dagger-plant. Y. gloriosa is the dwarf palmetto, or mound-lily. The preceding and several others are favorites in cultivation, chiefly under the name yucca; 8 species cultivated near Nice now begin to form a characteristic feature of some parts of the Mediterranean coast. Some species yield an edible fruit, as Y. baccata, the Spanish bayonet, or Mexican banana, a native of Mexico, extending into western Texas, New Mexico, and southern parts of Colorado and California; a strong coarse fiber, made into rope by the Mexicans, is procured from the leaves by macerating them in water. The name Spanish bayonet is also applied to other species, especially to Y. constricta (Y. elata), which occurs in Mexico and the United States from western Texas to Utah, grows from 9 to 15 feet high, and produces a light-brown or yellowish wood; and to Y. Treculeana (including Y. canaliculata), a long-leafed species of Texas and Mexico, sometimes 25 feet high and 2 feet thick, producing a bitter but sweetish fruit which is cooked and eaten by the Mexicans. It has its branches all near the top, produces great numbers of showy white flowers of a porcelain luster, followed by an edible berry. Y. brevifolia, known as Joshua-tree, native of Arizona and southern parts of Utah, Nevada, and California, a tree sometimes 40 feet high and about 3 feet in diameter, forms in the Mohave desert a straggling open forest; its light soft wood is sometimes made into paper-pulp. Y. Whipplei of southern California is much admired for its beauty in cultivation. Y. Yucatana of Central America is branched from the base.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Yucca yuk′a a genus of plants of natural order Liliaceæ, natives of Mexico, &c., some cultivated in gardens on account of the singularity and splendour of their appearance
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., from Yuca, its name in St. Domingo
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
West Indian name.


In literature:

Yucca Your looks pierce me.
"Your Plants" by James Sheehan
Upon which Simon Jr. kicked up his heels in the most intelligent manner, and pranced off in pursuit of the succulent yucca.
"Peak and Prairie" by Anna Fuller
There were half a dozen Indian sun shelters near the spring, each a mere cat's claw and yucca thatch, supported on cedar posts.
"The Forbidden Trail" by Honoré Willsie
It was a brown, level country thickly dotted with yucca.
"Oh, You Tex!" by William Macleod Raine
She was standing near one of the yucca palm trees that grew up from the azotea.
"The Scalp Hunters" by Mayne Reid
There were likewise many wisps of yucca fiber tied in knots which must probably be regarded as of identical origin.
"Archeological Expedition to Arizona in 1895" by Jesse Walter Fewkes
Then I had never seen a yucca, much less a tree of the kind we were gazing at; of course I could only guess at what they might be.
"Ran Away to Sea" by Mayne Reid
She was still at Yucca Flats, along with the other telepaths Malone's investigation had turned up.
"Out Like a Light" by Gordon Randall Garrett
I've seen prairie-dogs and yucca and quaking-asps and a cow boy, and I know I heard a meadow-lark.
"Virginia of Elk Creek Valley" by Mary Ellen Chase
Genesmere's horse started and nearly threw him, but it was only a young calf lying for shade by a yucca.
"Red Men and White" by Owen Wister

In poetry:

(Rustle in the mesquite
And foot upon the grass!
Do the yuccas mutter?
Can the shadows pass?)
"Antidote (Nogales, Sonora, Mexico)" by Norman MacLeod
You, fire and trouble! that day you stood still
For once: and I was lucky. And that night
I turned you loose to graze on Flores hill:
The yucca never bloomed so tall and white!
"So Long, Chinook!" by Henry Herbert Knibbs
Dimly and dark the mesas broke on the starry sky.
A pall covered every color of their gorgeous glory at noon.
I smelt the yucca and mesquite, and stifled my heart’s quick cry,
And wormed and crawled on my belly to where he moved against the moon!
"The Horse Thief" by William Rose Benet

In news:

Bark Bark Bark @ Yucca Tap Room.
I have a yucca that has finally matured enough to flower.
Radioactive politics over nuclear storage at Yucca Mountain.
600 Yucca Street, Boulder City, NV 89005 (Directions).
Rational Animals are scheduled to perform Friday, August 17, at Yucca Tap Room in Tempe.
Two more organizations have lined up to fight the government's proposed shelving of the Yucca Mountain project.
NRC nominees won't stand in way of Yucca Mountain shutdown.
Three officials nominated to fill seats on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission indicated this week that they would not stand in the way of a shutdown of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste program.
YUCCA VALLEY— A 13-year-old girl is missing in the Morongo Basin.
YUCCA VALLEY — Six new traffic signals and additional raised medians are planned in Yucca Valley.
Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indio, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Yucca Valley.
Maine Yankee's owners worry that spent fuel and other wastes may sit where they are for decades, given the Obama administration's decision to abandon work on a controversial federal repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.
Yucca isn't dead yet .
States Seek Court Action on Yucca Nuclear Waste Dump.
Report seeks restart of Yucca Mountain project.

In science:

The former proposed sinking a vertical shaft at a site near Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and the latter advocated excavating a long tunnel beneath Mt.
Reference Design Project Book: NUSEL-Homestake