Soap Tree Yucca

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Soap Tree YuccaThis Yucca is known as Soap weed, Spanish Bayonet, or Yucca elata. I have seen flower stalks on these plants that reach higher than 30 feet. When these bloom from May to July they will have White belched flowers that can reach up to 2 inches. They will grow in clusters from a central stalk that will from the top of the plant. These are followed by a brown 3 chambered seed pod. The leaves are a greenish yellow in color and are long, narrow, and have a very sharp point that can be up to 2 ½ inches long. This Yucca is also an evergreen, it does not die off in the winter. The Soap Tree Yucca can be found at altitudes ranging from 1,500 to 6,000 feet above sea level. This can be found in Grasslands, washes, mesas, or even sandy plains in the Sonora desert and the Chihuahua deserts.

The native Americans would eat the flowers and buds by either roasting or boiling. These can be eaten alone or added to soups and stews. The very young stalks can be boiled and eaten as well. Once the stalk matures and dries it can make very good spindles and fireboards for primitive fire techniques. There are a number of medicinal uses for this plants as well. The uses follow along with the Banana Yucca or Yucca baccata. The roots were used by native Americans for centuries for soap. This compound can also be found in the leaves and is good for washing the body, hair, and clothing. This soap is also very good in the treatment of sunburns. The leaves can be removed and used to make cordage, mats, baskets, sandals, and other clothing.

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