Joshua tree Facts

Joshua tree Facts
Joshua tree, also known as yucca palm, is an evergreen plant that belongs to the lily family. There are 3 subspecies of Joshua tree that can be found only in Mojave Desert. Joshua tree inhabits desert plains, slopes, ridges and flat-topped hills on the altitude between 1.300 to 5.900 feet. Joshua tree is numerous in the wild, but scientists estimate that future climate changes may negatively impact survival of this plant. Cutting and destroying of Joshua tree is prohibited by law.
Interesting Joshua tree Facts:
Joshua tree can grow 15 to 40 feet in height and 1 to 3 feet in diameter.
Joshua tree usually develops one stem and dense crown composed of erect branches.
Joshua tree has complex root system that consists of deep and shallow root. Deep root can reach depth of 10 to 30 feet and collect hardly accessible water. It also produces large bulbs that can reach 4 feet in width and 40 pounds of weight. Shallow root grows few feet below the ground and absorbs water after rainfall.
Joshua tree has evergreen, spiny leaves. They are dark-green colored and spirally arranged on top of the branches.
Joshua tree blooms from February to April, but only during the rainy years. Joshua tree has creamy-yellow or green flowers. They are bell-shaped and arranged in clusters. Flowers produce unpleasant smell.
Pronuba Moth or Yucca Moth is the only type of insect that is able to pollinate flowers of Joshua tree.
Female moths collect pollen and at the same time lay eggs inside the ovaries. Larvae hatched from the eggs use seed of Joshua tree as source of food. Joshua tree and Pronuba Moth are tightly associated and cannot survive one without another.
Joshua tree produces green or brown fruit that is elliptically-shaped. Fruit is semi-fleshy and filled with large number of flat seed.
Ripe fruit falls to the ground and disintegrates (reveals seed). Wind and animals are responsible for dispersion of seed.
Name "Joshua tree" was coined by group of Mormons in the 19th century. They associated erect branches of tree with hands of Prophet Joshua who was pointing toward the sky, indicating direction of Promised Land.
Native Americans were using lightweight bark of Joshua tree for the production of bowls.
Native Americans were using wide branches of Joshua tree like canisters for nuts and berries after removal of the central tissue.
Pulp of Joshua tree was used for the manufacture of paper for the London Daily Telegraph in the 19th century.
Splints made of wood of Joshua tree were used in treatment of injured American soldiers during the First World War.
Joshua tree can survive up to 1000 years, but it usually lives 150 to 200 years in the wild.

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