You read it first in this week’s The Factory in Guide magazine.

High trees The unusual-looking plants called Joshua trees aren’t actually trees at all. They’re the world’s largest yuccas, and only grow between elevations of 2,000 and 6,000 feet. –

You read it first in this week’s The Factory in Guide magazine.

Have you ever had a chance to visit Joshua Tree National Park? It is a national park in southern California where the Mojave and the Colorado deserts come together. (The Mojave includes parts of Nevada, Utah and Arizona, as well). And it has a lot of Joshua Trees. So, what is so special about the Joshua Tree? And why is it called the Joshua Tree?

Well, I’m glad you asked!  The Joshua Tree isn’t even really a tree, it’s a plant. But it can grow very big like a tree, some even over 40 feet tall. It is actually in the lily family, and is the world’s largest yucca plant. Another name for it is the yucca palm, an evergreen plant. It has pointy sword-like leaves, and is quite prickly.

Mojave Desert, Joshua Tree National Park, California.

An interesting fact about these special yucca plants is that they can only grow between an elevation of 2,000 – 6,000 feet, as is mentioned above. They apparently like really hot days and cool nights, and dry places where there is not much water.

Legend has it that a group of Mormon believers were migrating through the area in the 1800s, and when they saw the Joshua Tree and its branches reaching out, they said it reminded them of Joshua of the Bible, stretching his hands out to God in prayer. They felt like the trees were guiding them on their way. That’s why they called these plants Joshua trees.

Another interesting fact about these plants is they are dependent on the yucca moth.  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.

The plant blooms from February to April, but only during the rainy years. It has creamy-yellow or green flowers. They are bell-shaped and arranged in clusters. Apparently, their flowers produce an unpleasant smell.

Well, just like the Joshua Tree relies on the yucca moth to keep it alive through pollination, we must rely on Jesus. Without Jesus we would soon perish. He gives us the air we breathe, the water we drink, the sunshine and everything else we need, and especially the chance to choose eternal life.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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