Yucca filamentosa ssp. smalliana
Yucca filamentosa ssp. smalliana (Fernald) Hochstaetter, Kaktusbluete 18 :10 (2001)

Yucca smalliana FERNALD, Rhodora 46: 8-9 plate 809.(1944)
Yucca filamentosa var. smalliana (Fernald) Ahles, Journ. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. 80 (2): 172 (1964)
Yucca filamentosa sensu J.K. Small, Manual Southeastern Flora 303 (1933) not Linnaeus (1753)

Type location:
Sandy soil near Jacksonville, Duval Co., Florida, May, A. II Curtiss, no. 2950, in Herb. Grey. Plate 809.

ISO TYPE: FLAS 46959 (University of Florida Herbarium)



Short description of the species:
This is a citation from;  FERNALD, 1944, Rhodora 46: 8-9

"Yucca Smalliana, sp. nov.
Yucca filamentosa, sensu Small, Man. Sc. F. 303 (1933), not L. Y. filamentosa, forma genuina, subf. angustifolia Engelm. in Trans. St. Louis Acad. Sci. III. 51 (1873), not Yucca angustifolia Pursh (1814). Type: Sandy soil near Jacksonville, Florida, May, A. II Curtiss, no. 2950, in Herb. Grey. Plate 809. Although Small states that the smaller-flowered and more southern Yucca smalliana (Y. filamentosa sensu Small, not L.) has "panicle-branches glabrous", the material before me shows them merely glabrescent. At flowering time they are pruinosepilose, only in fruit becoming glabrate. True northern Yucca filamentosa has the panicle glabrous from the first. In it's pubescent panicle Yucca smalliana suggest the upland Yucca flaccida Haw., of the Blue Ridge and adjacent uplands, which may have pubescent panicle; but as I understand it, Yucca flaccida has very pliable and thin leaves, very broad and abruptly short-acuminate petals (as shown in Lindl. Bot Reg. xx. t. 1895 (1836)), and the native specimens which seem to belong to it have the style elongate and broad and flat filaments coarsely ciliate. In Yucca smalliana (pl. 809) the flower is smaller, with much narrower and acuminate sepals and petals, the style obsolete or very short, and the filaments less flattened and finely pruinose-pilose."

Take a look at Benny's "key" to the Yucca filamentosa & Yucca flaccida complex.

AHLES did transfer Yucca smalliana Fernald to a variety of Yucca filamentosa in Journ. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. 80 (2): 172 (1964). this was done without any explanation! I have not been able to get any plants or seeds from the type location i Florida, so Im not sure what the status should be for this "species"? I can follow the idea of placing Yucca smalliana as a variety or a subspecies of Yucca filamentosa if Yucca flaccida placed as a variety or a subspecies too.

I haven't been able to locate plants or seed from the type location, so I have no data of it's hardiness., It's very similar to Yucca flaccida, but it's from Florida, so I wouldn't think it's as hardy as Yucca flaccida!

FERNALD, M. L. 1944., Rhodora 46(541): 5-9. plate 808-809, (description, p. 8-9, plate 8099)
ALBERT R NEDFORD, HARRY E: AHELS, C. RHCIE BELL, Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas (1968)
University of Florida Herbarium web site (FLAS)
HOCHSTAETTER, F., Kaktusbluete 18 :11 (2001) 18 :10 (2001) (Yucca filamentosa ssp. smalliana)
McDaniel, J.C. (1975) (Cact. & Succ. Journ. Amer. 47 (3): 110-111, 2 figs.)


I don't have any pictures of this species, but if there are any from Florida who has pictures from or near the Type location I would be very happy to publish them on this site? Im also looking for plants or seeds from around the Type location area!

Yucca smalliana cultivated in Craig Howe's garden northern California. This one may not be the true species, but Craig obtained the plant with that name!
Photo by Craig Howe ©2000-2005

Special thanks to Fritz Hochstätter, Steve Jankalski and Dave J. Ferguson for all their help with the Yucca filamentosa mess.

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