Desert-Wise Living >> Desert-Wise Landscaping >> Plant Spotlight

Plant Spotlight: Mojave Yucca

                                     Photos by Stacy Doolittle
One of our most glorious native plants is the Mojave Yucca (Yucca schidigera). With blooms beginning purple and opening to white or cream-colored blossoms, a yucca in bloom is a desert beacon. It's tree-like structure adds solidity to the landscape.
According to CalScape, "the flower is pollinated by only a single species of Yucca Moth, and many of the flowers go unpollinated."  Although a member of the Agave family, yucca's do not produce pups but instead reproduce by seed. 
yucca bloom close-up
Native Americans used the yucca in many ways, specifically to make cordage from the long tough fibers of its leaves. This cordage was then made into sandals and used in basketry, among other uses. Native Americans also ate the roots and blossoms of the plant. Yucca has been used in folk medicine to reduce inflammation and combat arthritis – applications that are being studied today in pharmaceutical labs.

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