Jumpin’ Yuccy

"Jumpin' Yuccy" is the popular name given to Schuss-Yucca, a variety of chaparral yucca found throughout the southwestern United States. "Schuss-yucca" derives from the German word "schuss," meaning to shoot up, a reference to this plant's amazing ability to grow a stalk ten to twenty feet high, blossom, and then die, all within a matter of minutes or even seconds.

Botanist Gustav Albrecht provided the first conclusive scientific evidence of the existence of this plant and its remarkable growth cycle in a series of photographs taken at one-second intervals (reproduced below) that accompanied his October 1952 article published in Scientific Monthly. Albrecht noted that, "Scientists today realize that anything is possible, whether Schuss-yuccas or extra-terrestrial flying saucers—particularly when reported by trained and reliable observers and accompanied by good photographs."

In his article Albrecht also debunked some popular myths about the Jumpin' Yuccy, such as the legend that the famous Spanish desperado and cattle rustler Vasquez met an untimely end when he leapt over a Jumpin' Yuccy just as it was beginning its growth cycle. Albrecht pointed out that this was highly unlikely since the stem of the Jumpin' Yuccy is soft, "like a giant asparagus." Therefore, it "could not reasonably be expected to harm a full-grown Spaniard."

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Reference: Gustav Albrecht. "The Schuss-Yucca." Scientific Monthly (Oct. 1952): 250-252.

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Look at the model's shadow. If the photos were taken at one second intervals as claimed, it was on a day when the position of the sun was changing at an abnormal rate. Best guess: same model, same plant, different days, and with no regard for taking photos at the same time of day.
Posted by M Davis  on  Wed Jun 14, 2006  at  11:42 AM
Schuss-Yuccas are real. I've seen one, though granted they stay bloomed a lot longer then half a second...

This is not a joke. I have really seen one.
Posted by Meerkat  on  Thu Aug 17, 2006  at  10:05 AM
But did you see it during its one-minute growth cycle? That's the real question.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Thu Aug 17, 2006  at  10:15 AM
No, but I saw it bloomed. It stayed like that for an hour. The base is green, and the flowers are a dull orange. The trunk is actually hard.
Posted by Meerkat  on  Sun Aug 20, 2006  at  09:00 AM
The Schuss-yucca that blooms in seconds

It blooms in seconds
The schuss-yucca,dies just as quick
but I must ask ,why?
Posted by J  on  Thu Oct 05, 2006  at  01:34 PM
Of course, what I said would be true only if "Schuss-Yucca" refers to all Yucca plants found in Australia.
Posted by Meerkat  on  Thu Jan 18, 2007  at  02:15 PM