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Item ID: 25
Family: Agavaceae
Genus: Yucca
Species: elata
Common Name: Soaptree yucca
Habitat: Commonly seen in the Desert Grasslands and extending into the high desert from approximately 1,500 to 6,500 feet in elevation.
Range: This Yucca is found in western Texas, southern New Mexico and southern Arizona. It is also in northern Sonora and northern Chihuahua, Mexico.
Care: Small plants are commonly found in many nurseries. The small plants can be easily planted and require only extra water during the hotter months of the year. Plants after establishment need very little if any extra care except for sometimes clean-up of the dying leaves. This is a very hardy species and can tolerate temperatures below zero. It can also survive in full sun and hot summer heat as well.
Propagation: The Soaptree yucca can be grown from seed. Propagating this plant in any other way is not advised.
Size: Commonly found to reach a height of about 10 to 20 feet. Taller plants are quite rare but do exist.
Shape: Rosette
Flowers: White, fragrant flowers are formed at the top of a tall stalk and can be a very rewarding sight.
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Mark Dimmitt 1970

The flexible leaves of this Yucca are quite long and thin. Along the leaf margins are many white curling fibers that appear to look like hair. In age the plant will form a trunk that is well anchored to the ground by the strong, deeply penetrating roots.

Author Comments
Being called the Soaptree yucca, this plant was used by native americans in many ways. The roots were dug up and used as a detergent or soap, called amole. The leaf fibers were used to make a variety of items valuable for daily survival including baskets and rope.

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