Yucca queretaroensis – Plant of the Month

Yucca queretaroensis was first described in 1989 by Ignacio Piña Luján in the journal Cactáceas y Suculentas Mexicana, 34(3), pp. 51-56. The type locality is from near the town of Bucareli in Queretaro, Mexico. While studying the plants of the Rio Moctezuma basin in Queretaro, Piña Luján found these tall, trunk-forming plants growing on the slopes of a steep ravine. It has since been found in two other localities, one in the state of Guanajuato and the other in the state of Hidalgo outside of Zimapan. I have yet to visit the type locality, but have seen plants at the other two spots. Indeed, these spectacular plants grow on steep slopes and are quite tall, so photographs are best taken from a distance. Piña Luján placed this species in the series Rupicola along with Yucca rostrata and Yucca thompsoniana. The original description can be found at the agavaceae.com website. Be sure to visit the store so you can purchase your very own Yucca queretaroensis.

To date, these have proven hardy to the low 20’s F in Tucson if the soil is kept on the dry side. The seedlings show some variation in leaf diameter, but I am expecting those with slightly larger leaves to become thinner as the plants mature. One with the narrowest leaves was selected for tissue culture, and the resulting plants have slightly larger diameter leaves.

The pictures below are of plants found outside the town of Xichu in Guanajuato. The folks in Xichu are protective of the nearby flora, and it is wise to ask permission from the ejido before venturing out to look at the plants.

a Yucca queretaroensis 03

On the hill outside of Xichu.

 

Yucca queretaroensis 02_w

Outside of Xichu

On the hill outside of Xichu.

On the hill outside of Xichu.

Outside of Xichu.

Outside of Xichu.

Outside of Xichu.

Outside of Xichu.

On the hill outside of Xichu.

On the hill outside of Xichu.

 

The next set of pictures is from the road to Toliman Canyon outside of Zimapan in Hidalgo. I visited this very deep gorge once in July of 2009 and then again in April of 2010. The dirt road was quite rough from the huge trucks that constantly drove down into the canyon where mining activity was taking place. During both trips I emphatically stated that I would not return, but if given the opportunity, I would gladly go again. Such is the life of a plant geek intent on traveling to fantastic spots to see very cool plants.

On the road to Toliman Canyon.

On the road to Toliman Canyon.

On the road to Toliman Canyon.

On the road to Toliman Canyon.

I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I do, and will consider one of these for your landscape, or even in a large, decorative container.

Cheers,

Greg

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (7) ↓

7 Comments

  1. Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More) February 6, 2014

    Your photos are fantastic! This species is truly beautiful. I’m very glad I bought a specimen when I was at your nursery in December. You are one the very few places I know of that sells Y. queretaroensis.

    reply
    • Greg February 6, 2014

      Thanks Gerhard. I hope your plant will be 10 feet tall when I come up there this summer.

      reply
  2. Daniel February 8, 2014

    Great post and shots, thanks for all the location information.

    In the last photo of the plants from outside Xichu the hillside in the background looks switch-backed or terraced, are those trails (game or human) or erosion patterns?

    reply
    • Greg February 9, 2014

      I think those are chiva (goat) trails.

      reply
  3. Gail February 8, 2014

    How long does it take for them to grow to 10 feet? Thank you. The photos are beautiful.

    reply
    • Greg February 9, 2014

      They have not been in cultivation long enough to know. They are quite slow growing though, so I’ll guess at least 15-20 years.

      reply

Reply to Daniel

*