Yucca Glauca, also known as Soapweed Yucca, is an evergreen succulent plant that is closely related to the agave genus. It can tolerate a wide variety of growing conditions from indoor to outdoor growth and drought to frost. Yucca glauca populates areas of mid-western North America from Mexico up into Canada. Yucca glauca is synonymous with yucca angustifolia, and it is grown as an ornamental or landscaping plant. This is not only because of its hardiness but also because of its ornamental leaf structure and flower stalks. The flowers, which naturally bloom in May through June, are white with leaves that resemble some types of palm. As the name suggests, soapweed yucca has been used to make soap and shampoos, particularly by the Native American tribes of the southwestern U.S. Several species of yucca, including yucca glauca, were used similarly by these tribes as herbal remedies. Yucca contains water-and-fat-soluble saponins that are a precursor to cortisone. Native Americans used yucca roots to treat skin and hair conditions as well as inflammation, rheumatism and arthritis. Aside from purported effects on inflammation, some attention has been focused on a possible benefit of yucca on cartilage by clearing toxins that inhibit its growth. Aside from herbal uses, Native Americans also used the leaves for weaving and textile production. The flowers, fruits and seeds were eaten and may perhaps be one of the more available sources of food in the desert.
Growing Information: Yucca glauca seeds strongly resemble those of agave. Yucca prefers a sandy, alkaline, well-draining soil. A commercial cactus mixture is suitable. No pretreatment is necessary for yucca glauca seeds. One way of planting is to place the seeds sideways with the rims of the seeds pointing down into the soil. The opposite side of the rim should be just about equal with the soil line. Keep the soil warm and moist, not wet. Plant may eventually reach four feet in height. Full sun is recommended but not required.
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