Joshua Tree National Park The Joshua Tree

Joshua trees, Yucca brevifolia, are found only in North America in the states of California, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. Confined mostly to the Mojave Desert between 2,000 and 6,000 feet, they thrive in the open grasslands of Queen Valley and Lost Horse Valley in Joshua Tree National Park.

Joshua trees can grow from seed or from an underground rhizome of another Joshua tree. They are slow growers, managing less than an inch a year. The trunk of a Joshua tree is made of thousands of small fibers and lacks annual growth rings, making it difficult to determine its age. This tree is not very sturdy because of its shallow root area and top-heavy branch system. But, if it survives the rigors of the desert, it can live a couple hundred years.

One of the most beautiful spectacles in spring is the creamy white blossoms of blooming Joshua trees. These white candles can be seen from February to late April. Joshua trees do not branch until after they bloom and they don't bloom every year.

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