One of our latest designs for our clothing and apparel, the Joshua tree is an interesting specimen! Read on to find out more about this fascinating plant.
10 Fun Facts about the Joshua Tree
1. It’s Not a Tree!
Did you notice that we’ve just called the Joshua tree a plant? That’s because it’s not actually a tree! Technically a succulent, yucca brevifolia is a member of the agave family.
2. The Age of a Joshua Tree is Unknown
Not having growth rings like you’d find in actual trees, there’s no way of accurately knowing the age of an individual Joshua Tree. Instead, height is used as a rough estimate. It’s estimated that Joshua Trees have an average lifespan of approximately 150 years, although there are some that are believed to have been around for much longer.
3. Some Joshua Trees are Branchless
Have you ever seen a Joshua tree with no branches? If a Joshua Tree grows straight with no branches at all, this means it’s never bloomed!
4. They're The World’s Largest Yucca
Some Joshua trees have grown to over 40ft in height. They’re the largest yucca in the world!
5. They Need a Particular Type of Moth, Who Also Needs Them
Joshua trees need yucca moths, and yucca moths need Joshua trees! The yucca moths are the only things capable of pollinating Joshua trees, yet the yucca moth also relies on the Joshua tree for seeds, which the moth larvae feed on.
6. The Legend of The Name Joshua Tree
There’s a story that when Mormon immigrants travelled across the Colorado River in the 19th century, they saw the outstretched branches of the Joshua tree and believed they were guiding them through the desert, similarly to Joshua being a guide in the Bible. Historical records suggest that this isn’t accurate, but it’s a nice story nonetheless!
7. They’re An Important Part of the Ecosystem
In addition to being relied upon by yucca moths, Joshua trees also provide habitat for various animals. They provide cover for lizards and invertebrates, various bird species nest in them, and several mammals need them for food.
8. They Employ a Clever Method of Recovery
Joshua trees have a complex root system, and these roots can produce new shoots, allowing them to reproduce. This provides a great method of recovery from damage caused by disasters such as floods and fires.
9. They’ve Been Very Useful
Over the years, Joshua trees have certainly been put to good use:
- Leaves have been used to make items such as sandals and baskets
- Flower buds and seeds have been used for food
- Trunks have been used for fencing
- Pulp has been used to make newspaper
10. The Impact of Climate Change
Unfortunately, our 10th fun fact about Joshua trees isn’t so fun. There are concerns that rising temperatures caused by climate change will have a negative effect on Joshua trees because of their need for cold periods to flower.
Help us to help the Joshua Trees! We fund the planting of 10 trees for each item purchased and donate 10% of each sale to environmental nonprofits. Shop our Joshua Tree Collection.