The Joshua Tree is a classic icon of the Mojave Desert and can be found throughout an area that includes California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada. The tree was named by Morman immigrants who thought the tree reminded them of the biblical figure, Joshua, praying to the heavens. Joshua Tree is actually a succulent whose trunk is made of fibers, and unlike an actual tree, it does not have age rings that can be used to date the tree?s age. Specimens are said to be able to survive about 200 years though. The leaves of the tree are durable, making them a valuable material for weaving amongst natives like the Cahuilla Indians. Additionally, the buds are edible and the branches were used as fencing. Trees can reportedly reach about 45-50 feet.
Growing Information: Sow your seeds at a depth of 1/8″ in a commercial cactus potting mixture. Many growers prefer to set the pot in a dish of water, allowing the water to wick up through the soil. Some research suggests that keeping the seeds at high temperatures (around 90 degrees F) for about 5 minutes before planting will increase germination rates. Ideal germination temperature is roughly 64-77 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep moist throughout germination, but allow the soil to dry out after sprouting. Optimal daylight is 10 hours per day. Research also suggest that seedlings will grow best if subjected to 2 month of cold temperatures during the winter.
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