Yucca (Yucca schidigera)

Botanical Name : Yucca schidigera
Family: Agavaceae
Genus: Yucca
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:
Asparagales
Species: Y. schidigera

Habitat : It is native to the Mojave Desert and Sonoran Desert of southeastern California, Baja California, southern Nevada and western Arizona.

Description:

The Mojave yucca is a small evergreen tree growing to 5 m tall, with a dense crown of spirally arranged bayonet-like leaves on top of a conspicuous basal trunk. The bark is gray-brown, being covered with brown dead leaves near the top, becoming irregularly rough and scaly-to-ridged closer to the ground. The leaves are 30-150 cm long and 4-11 cm broad at the base, concavo-convex, thick, very rigid, and yellow-green to blue-green in color.

 

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The Mojave yucca (Yucca schidigera), also known as the Spanish Dagger, is a flowering plant in the family Agavaceae.

The flowers are white, sometimes having a purple tinge, bell-shaped, 3-5 cm long (rarely to 7.5 cm), produced in a compact, bulbous cluster 60-120 cm tall at the top of the stem. The fruit is fleshy and green, maturing into a leathery, dark brown six-celled capsule 5-11.5 cm long and 3-4 cm broad in late summer.

Cultivation:
This yucca typically grows on rocky desert slopes and Creosote desert flats between 300-1200 m altitude, rarely up to 2500 m. They thrive in full sun and in soil with excellent drainage. It also needs no summer water. It is related to the Banana yucca (Y. baccata), which occurs in the same general area; hybrids between the two are sometimes found.

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Medicinal Uses:

Common Uses: Cholesterol Control * Osteoarthritis * Pet care * Rheumatoid Arthritis *
Properties:  Analgesic* Anti-inflammatory* Antirheumatic*
Parts Used: Roots
Constituents: saponin (click to see : Saponin’s Research Information)

Yucca’ s most promising use among natural health practitioners is in the treatment of both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. The steroidal saponins in yucca are used as starter substances in the production of synthetic steroid drugs. These phytosterols work with the natural immune functions of the body, and assist the body in using and producing these its steroid related hormones. Human studies have shown that an extract of yucca reduces the swelling, pain and stiffness of arthritis, though the studies were controversial.

Currently extracts from this plant are in animal feed and various herbal medications. Some reports claim that Native Americans washed their hair with yucca to fight dandruff and hair loss. Among the other maladies this yucca has been used to treat are headaches, bleeding, gonorrhea, arthritis and rheumatism.

Other Uses:
The fibers of the leaves were used by Native Americans to make rope, sandals, and cloth. The flowers and fruit could be eaten and the black seeds were ground into a flour. The roots were used to make soap.  Also used as a natural deodorizer. Used in pet deodorizers.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail61.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yucca_schidigera
http://www.tandjenterprises.com/FoodGradeYucca.htm

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One thought on “Yucca (Yucca schidigera)”

  1. We have two of these in our front garden and with the recent snow most of the leaves have all fallen off, will they grow back or do i assume that it is dead.

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