A tree, grotesque and forbidding in aspect, but with a weird sort of beauty, looming black against the pale desert landscape, with a great, thick, rough trunk, fifteen to thirty feet high, and a few thick, contorted branches, stretching out like a giant's arms and pointing ominously across the sandy waste. The branches are thatched with the shaggy husks of dead leaves and from their tips they thrust out a great bunch of dagger-like leaves and a big, ponderous cluster of pallid, greenish flowers or heavy, yellowish fruits. The coarse flowers are about two inches across, with a clammy smell like toadstools, and the bracts are dead white. This grows in the Mohave Desert and is at its best around Hesperia, where one may see the most fantastic forest that it is possible to imagine. Elsewhere it is smaller and more like other Yuccas in shape. It was called Joshua Tree by the early settlers, it is said because they fancied that its branches pointed towards the Promised Land. The fruits are relished by the Indians, who utilize the fibers from the leaves for weaving baskets, ropes, hats, horse-blankets, etc., and make a pulp from the stems, used for soap.

There are several kinds of Trillium, of North America and Asia; with tuberous root-stocks; three, netted-veined leaves, in a whorl at the top of the stem; a single flower with three, green sepals, three petals, six, short stamens, and three styles; capsule berry-like and reddish, containing many seeds. The Latin name means "triple."