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Joshua Trees in Joshua Tree NP 2

This is a yucca.

Yuccas are one of the stranger plant genera unfortunate enough to grace this Earth, neither a grass nor a tree nor even a cactus, though their proliferation of spines might at times give that impression, but simply a giant ball of pain for anything that gets too close.[1] Incredibly varied in appearance, yuccas range from tight spheres of spines to sweeping growths of sharp, graceful leaves, keeping low to the ground or branching out into large trees that eventually collapse under their own weight if left unpruned. Which, due to their spikey nature, they usually are.

While the defining feature of most yuccas would probably be their spines, what makes these plants so unfortunate, and what truly defines them, is little more than neglect. Yuccas are neglected. They are neglected by people, by society, by the media, even by hobos and politicians.[2][3] This would be a terrible detriment to yucca-kind, but as it would seem they do not actually care, either, apparently it isn't. Nevertheless, they are neglected.

edit Societal neglect

Yucca pallida

This is also a yucca.

Yucca linearifolia - Jardin d'oiseaux tropicaux - DSC04873

Somehow neither this yucca nor its pods have ever appeared in any science fiction media, despite looking far more alien than most of the 'aliens' appearing in such shows.

edit Media neglect

Science fiction has ever been renowned for its exotic settings and diverse cultures, at least, that is, until it comes time to put it to the big screen. With few exceptions, come planetside, television and film pulls its viewers not into an even wider variety of landscapes than are generally found on Earth, but into the tell-tale forests of British Colombia. Every bloody time, always British Colombia. Star Wars, Stargate, Star Trek, if there's a 'star' in the name, it wound up there. This would be all very well and fine, rather like the penchant of scientists to invariably have funny accents and funny-coloured aliens to not have skin tone - call it stylistic licence or some such - if it were not for the few exceptions, and for the few rather bristly plants unfortunate enough to have been caught in these exceptions.

For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article about Yuccas.

There are many plants that rarely show up in film, of course, but of those that actually qualify as dangerous, only one has been largely neglected, and it is perhaps the most ill-humoured in all of its kingdom. Even cacti, perhaps the most painful of all, have as a staple of Westerns since their conception at least become accustomed to the shifting attention of the average cinema-goer. 'Yuccas have had no such luxury, however, and as such have grown increasingly unpleasant to be around in recent years.

edit Films and serials in which yuccas have appeared

None so far.

edit Films and serials in which yuccas should have appeared

edit Stargate

Main article: Stargate

edit Firefly

One of very few of its kind, Firefly is a

edit Everything else involving other planets

edit Personal neglect


The majesty of this could hail from some distant world that exists only in the imagination, but no, it's just New Mexico.


Even the cactus is overshadowed by the sheer spikiness of this yucca, and yet cacti appear to be far more popular than yuccas.

edit Other yuccas that have never appeared in any popular media

edit Notes

  1. The only exceptions to this lie with creatures that have developed the ability to eat yuccas. How they manage this incredible feat would be of great interest to scientists if said scientists would willingly go near them.
  2. These particular occupations are notable because of their common tendency to wind up by the side of the road after a long night.
  3. Most of them don't even know what yuccas are, though. We know this because we're pretending we asked a few.
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