As promised in an earlier post, here is the evidence to prove that the blossoms of the yucca are among the most beautiful in the desert.
This particular specimen of soaptree yucca grows near the new bridge the BLM built across the arroyo next to the parking lot on the northwest side of Tortugas Mountain. Soon all of the yuccas will bloom, poking their showy flower stalks high into the air to attract the yucca moth, the insect responsible for the plant's pollination.
It seems that the yucca moth takes pollen from the stamen of one plant, rolls it into a little ball, then stuffs the pollen into the stigma of another plant. In the process the moth also lays eggs, which hatch into larvae that feed on the seeds of the yucca. The yucca flower is the state flower of New Mexico, formally adopted in March of 1927