April 18

What is the World’s Biggest Yucca Plant?


Did you know that the Joshua tree (lower case T when talking about the plant, but uppercase T when talking about the park) is part of the Yucca family? Yep! In fact, the whimsical Joshua tree, aka Yucca brevifolia,  is the world's largest type of Yucca tree. You can find these unique trees where the Colorado and Mojave deserts meet. 

Where does the name Joshua tree come from? It’s been suggested that Mormon settlers gave the tree its western name from the biblical Joshua. But it is known natively by the Cahuilla people as “hunuvat chiy’a” or “humwichawa.”

In the past, the Joshua tree’s long, tough leaves were used to weave baskets and its white flower buds and seeds were part of the local diet. Ranchers, miners, and Mormon settlers who moved into the area in the mid 19th century, used the branches as building material for fences and other structures. The folks at Visit 29 Palms will tell you that today most folks enjoy the trees for their aesthetic appeal. And visitors and residents alike delight at the trees’ Dr. Seuss-like silhouettes against the purple desert twilight

Maybe it’s time you make the trip down to southern California to see these trees for yourself. Whether you’re running the half marathon with us this November, or plan to visit another time, Visit 29 Palms can help you find the best places to stay, dine, and visit. 

Maybe you’re a history buff who wants to learn more about the people who have called this land home, or perhaps you want to be entertained after your run. You can discover whatever tickles your fancy at Visit 29 Palms.

Okay, maybe not anything that tickles your fancy. If making custom furniture out of exotic wood is your hobby, we might have to put a pause on that while you visit Joshua Tree national park. Damaging natural resources within the park is prohibited and doing so will result in a hefty fine. While you visit, remember to respect the land and leave no trace. Happy visiting!

Joshua Tree JT 1


Joshua Tree, Visit 29 Palms

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