Driving along a section of Highway 164 in southern Nevada I found a forest of Joshua trees.
Joshua trees, Yucca Brevifolia, are fast growers for the desert. New seedlings may grow at an average rate of 3 inches (7.6 cm) per year in their first 10 years, and then only grow about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) per year thereafter. It can live for hundreds of years.
The trunk of the tree is made of thousands of small fibers. The flower and fruit are edible and Native Americans used the leaves to weave sandals and baskets. Early Mormon settlers named the Joshua tree because it reminded them of Joshua reaching his arms up in prayer.
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