About 40 species of rosette or woody-based perennials, evergreen shrubs, and erect, then spreading, evergreen trees. Leaves stiff, linear to lance-shaped, often tipped with a sharp spine. Flowers white or cream, bell- or cup-shaped, drooping, in tall clusters (panicles), most are heavily scented at night. Fruit are fleshy or dry capsules, not usually seen outside of their native range since flowers much be pollinated by the yucca moth. The "yucca flower" is the state flower of New Mexico. No species name is given in the citation. New Mexico's state flower is also known as the "Lamparas de dios" which translates to "Lamps of the Lord" due to the bright mass of white flowers that protrude from a center stalk within the yucca plant. Native to North and South America.
Yucca: apparently from the Caribbean name for Cassave (Manihot esculenta), originally thought to apply to Yucca gloriosa.