Don Quixote’s Lance


 

Several of these yuccas, also known as Spanish Dagger (Yucca treculeana), were blooming during my recent visit to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. They are not only showy but every part of this amazing plant can be utilized.

The flower stalk and blossoms are both edible, as are the young leaves and the fleshy fruit. The fibrous leaves are a source of cordage, not just prehistorically but also during WWI when roughly 80 million pounds were collected in New Mexico and Texas to compensate for the jute shortage.

Lastly, the roots produce an excellent soap, called amole, which is prized as a shampoo. Oh, I mustn’t neglect to mention all the various decoctions and medicinal uses. Not just a pretty plant!

Categories: Nature Notes, Observations

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