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Joshua Trees

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Paarth Sharma

on 19 June 2013

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Transcript of Joshua Trees

Yucca brevifolia is a plant species belonging to the genus Yucca. It is tree-like in habit, which is reflected in its name: Joshua tree.

The Joshua tree is native to southwestern North America in the states of California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada, where it is restricted mostly to the Mojave Desert between 400 and 1,800 meters elevation. It thrives in the open grasslands of Queen Valley and Lost Horse Valley in Joshua Tree National Park. A dense Joshua tree forest is also in Mojave National Preserve, in the area of Cima Dome.
The name Joshua tree was given by a group of Mormon settlers who crossed the Mojave Desert in the mid-19th century. The tree's arms reminded them of a Biblical story in which Joshua reaches his hands up to the sky in prayer. Ranchers and miners took advantage of the Joshua tree, using the trunks and branches as fencing and for fuel for steam engines. It is also called izote de desierto. It was first formally described in the botanical literature as Yucca brevifolia by George Engelmann in 1871.
Distribution and Habitat
Yucca brevifolia is endemic (native) to the Southwestern United States with populations in western Arizona, southeastern California, southern Nevada, and southwestern Utah. This range mostly relates with the geographical reach of the Mojave Desert, where it is considered one of the major indicator species for the desert.
Joshua trees are one of the species predicted to have their range reduced and shifted by climate change. There is some concern that they will be eliminated from Joshua Tree National Park and that this will damage and transform the ecosystem of the park.
Edible Parts: Flowers; Fruit; Root; Seed; Seedpod.
Edible Uses:

Flowers can be seen during the period when Yucca Brevifolias bloom. When cooked, the opened flowers can be devoured.The opened flowers are rich in sugar and can be roasted and eaten as candy.
Fruit can also be seen during the blooming time and they are also edible after being roasted. The fruits can be roasted then formed into cakes and dried for later use. You can eat the root raw, boiled or roasted. The seeds can be gathered and eaten.

Other Uses
Basketry; Brush; Dye; Fibre; Soap; Weaving.

The trunk of a Joshua tree is full with fibres and can be used for making ropes, baskets, sandals, clothing and mats. The whole leaf can be woven into mats and it can also be used as a paint brush. The dark red core of the roots has been used as a pattern material in coiled baskets. The core is split into strands, soaked and worked in with the coiling so that the colour is always on the outside. Red and black dyes have been obtained from the roots. The roots are rich in saponins(an ingredient used in the making of detergents) and can be used as a soap substitute. The wood of the Joshua Tree is light, soft, spongy, and can be used as a wrapping material.
Yucca Brevifolia (The Joshua Tree)
By Paarth Sharma
In this Prezi:
A classification
Distribution and Habitat
It's Appearance
What it can be used for
Now Lets Get Started!
Leaf: Evergreen, stiff and dagger-like, numerous at the ends of branches, 6 to 12 inches long, sharp pointed tip, edges fine toothed, blue green.
Flower: Bell-shaped, 1 1/2 inch long, creamy yellow-green, occur at the ends of branches in upright 1 to 1 1/2 foot long clusters, appearing in spring.
Fruit: Light brown to reddish capsule, 2 1/2 to 5 inches long, 2 inches in diameter, 6 celled, initially fleshy, dries and falls soon after maturity in late spring.
Twig: Bark: Light brown, initially covered with brown dead leaves, later irregularly scaly ridged and furrowed.
Form: Picturesque, typically with a single, short trunk and many heavy, wide spreading limbs reaching up to 40 feet tall.
Some xerophytes (plants which have devloped to the arid environment) have leaves that are tough and waxy or coated with shiny oils, which also cuts down on transpiration, or they have small, fluttery leaves that help to cool the plants. Some species have spongy, shallow roots to take advantage of even the smallest amounts of rain, plant tissues that can store large amounts of water for later use, or ribs that direct moisture to the plant’s roots. The Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) has a thick trunk and large, spongy roots (which are about 11 meters long). The long, spongy roots help get the dew left from downpours and since the Yucca Brevifolia has few leaves the amount of water consumed is minimal. The largest Joshua Tree is about 15 meters high from the ground. That would mean that it has an approximate total length of 26 meters.
An adaptation is any alteration in the structure of an organism or any of its parts.Consequently the organism becomes better fitted to survive and multiply in its environment.
To Reduce Transpiration
Joshua Trees:
Direct Cooling Air Flow
Reflect Hot Sunlight
Shade Themselves
Have Few Leaves/Spines
Q1. What is Yucca Brevifolia?
A. The name of the species of Joshua Trees
B. The name of the genus of Joshua Trees
C. The name of the Kingdom of Joshua Trees
D. The name of the family of Joshua Trees
Q2. Which Biblical scene did the etymology of the name Joshua Trees came from?
A. The scene where the wolf knocks down the little pigs' house.
B. The scene of Joshua trying to touch heaven.
C. The scene of Joshua chanting a prayer to the sky.
D. The scene of Jacob chanting a prayer to be invincible.
Q3. WHere is Yucca Brevifolia found?
A. Australia
B. Southern America
C. North-west Japan
D. South-west United States
The answer is D.
Q4. How does a Yucca Brevifolia's leaf look like?
A. Yellow, short and dagger like
B. Evergreen, stiff and dagger-like
C. Evergreen, long and blunt
D. Yellow, stiff and blunt
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To conclude I would like to show a youtube video summing up the main points about Joshua Trees.
Thanks For Watching
Full transcript