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Hesperaloe Engelm.

Kingdom: Plantae Rank: Genus Parent: Agavaceae Status: Valid

Morphological Description

Diagnosis: Xerophytic, +/- scapose, rhizomatous perennials; leaves numerous, crowded at base of plant, linear,to 1.3 m long, succulent, conspicuously involute upon drying; flowering stem usually few branched; pedicels to 35 mm long; flowers tubular to oblong-campanulate, rosy red or salmoncolored (yellow-flowered forms are known in cultivation); stamens shorter than the tepals; style varying from much shorter than tepals to slightly exserted; ovary superior; capsules to 3 cm ormore long; seeds black.


Notes: A genus of 57 species native to sw North America from c TX to n Mexico (Starr 1997; Verhoek 1998; Robbins 2002; Turner & Turner 2002). It is most closely related to Hesperoyucca (AZ, CA, and nw Mexico) and Yucca, the other members of the family with superior ovaries. The following treatment is based heavily on Turner and Turner (2002). Some are widely cultivated for their showy flowers; in addition, they are drought, heat, and cold tolerant. (Greek: hesperos, western or evening, and the genus name Aloe)