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.
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.
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.