Adam's needle looks a little like a small palm, but is actually more closely related to the lilies. The evergreen leaves of Adam's needle are straplike, about 1 in (2.5 cm) wide and up to 2-3 ft (0.6-0.9 m) long. The leaves are basal; that is, they all originate from one point, taking the form of a rosette. The margins of the leaves are decorated with long curly threads or "filaments" that peel back as the leaf grows, eventually dropping off on older leaves. The inflorescence is very showy and borne on an erect spike up to 12 ft (3.7 m) high (taller in warm climates, shorter where winters are cold). There are up to several dozen individual flowers on an inflorescence, they are white and about 2 in (5 cm) long. The plant dies after flowering and fruiting, but produces lateral buds that start new plants around the edges of the original.
Medicinal Uses: A root poultice or salve treats skin sores and sprains. A decoction may be used to ease arthritic pain. Yucca Root treats inflammation, joint pain associated with osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis
Food Uses: The flowers of many yucca species are edible and used raw in salads or cooked. Those from Adam's needle are said to taste like Belgian endive. Yucca fruit can be cooked and eaten after the seeds are removed; the large petals are used in salads.
Other Uses: Yucca leaves contain very strong but soft fibers that have been extracted by native peoples to weave into create cloth and cordage. The leaves are woven into baskets
The root can also be used to make soap
The "yucca flower" is the state flower of New Mexico. No species name is given in the citation.