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Yucca
Agavaceae
Yucca angustissima


Thunder
Thunder
Type Categories Useful Parts

Herb





Agavaceae Family

Yucca Genus
Other Names for this Plant

Narrow leaf yucca, fine leaf yucca, bear grass, mesa yucca, Indian cabbage, pamilla, amole, Spanish bayonet, Joshua tree, datil, Spanish dagger,Navajo name: Tsa’aszi’ts’ooz - narrow yucca (Talawosh, ‘water suds,’ name for root; Nidoodloho, ‘the green fruit’; Nideeshjiin, ‘stalk black,’ name for young, dark stalk; Nideesgai, ‘stalk white,’ name for taller stalk


Location

Origin & Range: Native to SW North America. Rocky Mountain foothills, east of Continental Divide, and Great Plains from Alberta and Saskatchewan south to Texas and east to Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas.

Physical Description
Fine leaf yucca is a perennial with fleshy, long, stiff, narrow pointed leaves and a tall stalk of large white flowers growing almost directly from the fleshy roots. Leaves may extend to 20 inches above the root crown. The flowering stalk may reach 4 feet. The fruit is a large plump capsule with many medium seeds; the capsule becomes woody and splits open. So much energy goes into producing the flower, stalk and fruits that most yuccas bloom only once every few years. For fertilization of the flower, yuccas in the southwest depend upon a night visit by a tiny, highly specialized female moth that brushes the flower’s stigma with collected pollen as she enters the blossom to lay her single egg in the flower’s ovary.

A tall flower stalk rises from a thick clump of leaves. Flowers 2" (5 cm), greenish white, cup-shaped, leathery, mostly drooping, abundant; on annual stalk.

Leaves 2', linear, stiff, sharp; edges white, fibrous, shreddy.

Height: 4' (1.2 m).




Compare Species
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Agavaceae
Asparagales
Asparagales
Monocots
Monocots
One First-Leaves (Monocots)
Mesangiospermae
Mesangiospermae
Half Capsule Seed Division
Magnoliophyta
Magnoliophyta
Magnolia Division
Spermatophytes
Spermatophytes
Seed Plants
Euphyllophytina
Real Land Plants
Polysporangiates
Multiple Spore Sub-Kingdom
Stomatophytes
Stomatophytes
Air Pores Sub-Kingdom
Embryophytes
Embryophytes
Multicellular Land Plants
Streptobionta
Streptobionta
Multicellular Plants
Plantae
Plantae
Plants
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus


General Information

The Hopi have used the crushed roots for a strong laxative and to cure baldness.
Yucca is used in childbirth. The roots are soaked in water, the liquid is strained and given to a woman having a long labor. A cupful of yucca suds and sugar is given to the mother to help deliver the afterbirth.
This yucca is often called the banana plant by Navajos although the fruit tastes more like a date and is not considered as good to eat as the fruit of the wide leaf yucca. However, the fruit may be roasted in ashes, eaten raw or sliced and dried

for winter. The crushed fruit is used to make a cheese from goat’s milk. Other parts of the plant are edible. Flower buds are roasted in ashes for 15 minutes, leaves are boiled with salt. Its fruits for juice; and its leaves, flowers, fruits, and seedpods for food. Cooking yucca breaks down the saponins in it, so food sources of yucca may not offer the medicinal advantages thought to be associated with it.
Yucca is used to wash wool and as an ingredient in several dyes. Soap made from the crushed root is used to wash hair. Sometimes sagebrush is added to make the hair smell good, grow long and soft, and to prevent it from falling out.

The 102 counters of the Moccasin game are often made of Yucca. An arrow poison is made with yucca juice mixed with charcoal from a lightening struck pinyon or juniper tree and rubbed on 6 inches of the tip of the arrow
Native Americans used yucca stems for fibers to make baskets, clothing, or mats; its roots for soap; The roots of some types of yucca are used to make dyes. Yucca extract is FDA-approved to be used as a foaming agent in foods such as beer and soft drinks. It is also used as an additive in flavorings, foods, pet foods, shampoo, and soap



Yucca




Yucca
Fruit



Yucca
Entire plant in bloom

Comment: Yucca, Yucca angustissima

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