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Soaptree Yucca

Natural History

The Soaptree Yucca is a member of the agave family. It is one of the largest yuccas, growing in excess of 20 feet in height. The plant has numerous 2-foot long, thin flexible, evergreen leaves which have a sharp tip and grow from a central cluster. The arrangement of the leaves channel scarce rain water towards the yucca's center. The plant can typically be found growing in desert grasslands between 1500 and 6000 feet in elevation.

The roots of the Soaptree Yucca are known as amole, and are used as a substitute for soap (which gives the plant its name).

Like other yuccas, the Soaptree produces a tall flower stalk that grows to 30 feet in height. Between May and July, the plant produces a cluster of 2 inch white flowers from the top of the stalk. Native Americans used the leaves of the Soaptree Yucca to weave mats, baskets, cloth, rope and sandals.

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