The sharp leaf points have been used as sewing needles. Historically, yucca was used primarily for its fiber, which was woven into fabric and twisted into rope. It’s a member of the agave family with pale green dagger-like leaves and bell-shaped flowers. Surely Lewis and Clark would have been fascinated by the symbiosis of the yucca and the moth, could they have but observed it. It grows in dry rocky soils throughout the Great Plains and is most abundant in short grass prairies and desert grasslands. Inside the trunk and roots of the plant is a soapy substance high in saponins. Thus another common name for it is soapweed. This is especially true when you talk about primitive living. These plants have a long history of beneficial use. Life Cycle / Plant Type: Perennial, Succulents and Cacti Plant Details. Uses. Crushed roots produce a lather that is great as a soap or shampoo. They were also sparsely settled and many had adapted a nomadic life well suited to this vast land. Like Agaves, Yucca glauca (Soapweed) forms a clump of narrow, tough, blade-like pale green leaves that extend out from a central, woody, almost tree-like stalk. These will be used to create the cordage. Yucca is used for osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, inflammation of the intestine (), high cholesterol, stomach disorders, diabetes, poor circulation, and liver and gallbladder disorders. For an in-depth explanation of how to turn yucca into stout cordage, reference this article I penned for Offthegridnews.com. Uses. I’m sure you can cook the leaves somehow, but enjoying them off the plant provides a refreshing snack on a hot day. They are excellent as specimen plants. You can easily add more water, while removing it once you start the process can cause you to lose some of the soap. Yucca is used for osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, inflammation of the intestine (), high cholesterol, stomach disorders, diabetes, poor circulation, and liver and gallbladder disorders. Small Soapweed Dakota - Other, Containers Use documented by: Gilmore, Melvin R., 1913, Some Native Nebraska Plants With Their Uses by the Dakota, Collections of the Nebraska State Historical Society 17:358-70, page 358 View all documented uses for Yucca … Within the root of the plant there is a compound called saponin. Seeds were harvested from dehiscent capsules while they were still intact or after being dried. After the quick process you’ll be holding an all-natural needle and thread in your hand. Photo: James St. John, Wikipedia Commons. Soapweed engages in a mutualistic relationship with its pollinator, the Yucca Moth, whose larvae depend on Soapweed fruit as a food source; this is a relatively rare type of interaction. Soapweed yucca is one of the many varieties of yucca on the North American continent. Among the Zuni people, the seed pods are boiled and used for food. Top Pound the entire leaf except the last 2 or 3 inches. With your yucca root chopped into smaller pieces, drop them into a sturdy container and add a small bit of water. The various species of yucca — some of which are known today as Spanish bayonet, Adam's-needle, soapweed, datil, whipple or dagger plant — were of prime economic importance to … Soapweed yucca was a traditional Native American medical plant, used by the Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Lakota, and other tribes. The leaves can be split and used as a temporary tying material[257]. In a land that may seem bleak, knowing the uses of soapweed yucca is a must. The leaves can be woven into shallow or tray baskets[257]. While this prolific plant doesn’t provide us with copious amounts of calories, at certain times of the year it does offer a small snack. ), hereafter referred to as yucca, is a native perennial shrub found throughout much of Nebraska and the Great Plains (Figure 1) including central Canada and the Texas Panhandle. For those interested in learning more about the uses of different plants, you might find this article useful about the 8 uses of cattail from hunting to dinner plate. The point is strong and sharp enough to punch through denim, and can sew up nearly anything. One plant that people of the plains have traditionally found very useful is the ever-so-common soapweed yucca. The smaller you make the pieces, the easier making soap will be. This quick and easy cordage surely wasn’t lost on the ancestral people of this land. Its roots are used to make soap. The first way that I came to realize the utility of yucca, was when I started making cordage from the leaves. Yucca glauca (soapweed yucca) (Red Canyon overlook, Colorado National Monument, Colorado, USA) 5 (23360912173).jpg 3.008 × 2.000; 4,08 MB. Leaves are also soaked in water to soften them and made into rope by knotting them together. Prior to the migration of European Americans, Native American societies called these grasslands home. Within the root of the plant there is a compound called saponin. How to Use: You can crush the roots of the plant to make a thick, soapy lather. Above: Soapweed Yucca flowering in a meadow in early June. They would have appreciated the practical uses of this sturdy desert resident, too. Soapweed is also the obligate host plant to the Non-pollinating Yucca Moth, the Five-spotted Bogus Yucca Moth and the Strecker’s Giant Skipper. However, what we classify as a nuisance, can quickly be turned into a benefit with a change in perspective. The stiff, narrow and pointed leaves are 20 to 50 cm in length. The root of the non-flowering plant is used to make medicine. Yucca alone has more than 40 species. The leaf has also been used as a binding element in coarse coiled basketry[257]. Soapweed Yucca Information The Native Americans of the Great Plains valued soapweed yucca (Yucca glauca), using it for aches and pains, sprains, inflammations, and also to staunch bleeding. The tough woody flower stems emerge from a dense clump of long, narrow, sword-shaped leaves, and the flower stem persists long after the flowers have died back and often remain present when the new flowers appear the following year. Prior to European settlement, Native Americans used yucca for food, fiber, and shampoo. Soap Plant. As you mash the roots you’ll begin to notice a small bit of saponin secrete from them. The trunk is brown, cylindrical in shape and has a small diameter and often has holes drilled by escaping yucca moth larvae. In a land that may seem bleak, knowing the uses of soapweed yucca is a must. You can also use it as both a soap and a natural shampoo. Yucca is the common name for the more than 40 species of plants in the Yucca genus. The common name “Yucca” includes more than 40 species such as Yucca glauca, Yucca baccata, and other Yucca species, which are used interchangeably with Yucca … ), hereafter referred to as yucca, is a native perennial shrub found throughout much of Nebraska and the Great Plains (Figure 1) including central Canada and the Texas Panhandle. ( Log Out /  The soap … Generally, use by deer is fairly light, although Dusek reported that soapweed yucca represented up to 20% of winter mule deer diets in portions of north-central Montana. There is an obvious lack of timber and running water, two things that have always been vital for human settlement. As with all primitive skills, it is one thing to know about the process. Please Come Join Us at Softtracks.org, Follow Soft Tracks Outdoors on WordPress.com. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Perhaps the most well-known use of soapweed yucca is where it derives its name; making soap. The next step is to find a location where yucca is plentiful; it helps if this location is close to an area with a bit of timber, as timber will be needed for tools. As with any wood, make sure to select dead and seasoned stalks. Next, dice the root into smaller portions. Native Americans used the fiber of the soaptree yucca's leaves to make sandals, belts, cloth, baskets, cords, and mats, among other items; they also ate the flowers. Some fire starting material there. The misconception of our Great Plains as a vast wasteland is a myth that some still hold today. Mine is floppy because my soil is too rich, and my drainage too slow. USA: 4 to 10; UK H4, hardy to –10°C. This moth is the only insect that has success in pollinating the yucca flower and developing fruit and is the moths' only food source. It is another thing entirely to practice it. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. You can use stones, wood, or whatever tool you can devise. The lathering substances … It has thin green leaves that terminate with a sharp needlelike point. What you’ll need to search for are yuccas in bloom. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Hand. Soapweed, Yucca glauca, also had historical significance to indigenous people as a medicinal and fiber source. Some people are allergic to the saponin that creates the soap. When the first European Americans came through this land in large numbers, it was only to pass through our Great American Desert. Scientific Name: Yucca glauca Common Name: Small soapweed yucca Growing Zone:. The same can be said for the expansive grasslands of our prairie lands. Plant Height (Inches): 36 to 72 Plant Spread (Inches): 24 to 36 Time of Bloom: Mid to late summer Flower Details: White Leaf Foliage: Green That being said, many people out there can quickly bring a coal to life using yucca as the spindle and hearth board. The roots were used as a laxative and the soapy juice was an effective treatment for poison ivy and other minor skin irritations. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images Scientific name: Yucca glauca. These will be used to create the cordage. Soapweed yuccas are usually as alert as porcupines caught in tight corners: hemispherical and fierce. Soapweed also has a woody center from which the plant’s flower blossoms grow. Leaves are made into brushes and used for decorating pottery, ceremonial masks, altars and other objects. Lakota uses: Pulverized roots are mixed with tepid water, this tea was used for belly-ache. 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