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Yucca elata

Yucca elata (Engelm.) Engelm.

Yucca angustissima Engelm. ex Trel. var. elata Engelm.

Yucca elata (Engelm.) Engelm. var. elata

Yucca elata (Engelm.) Engelm. var. utahensis (McKelvey) Reveal

Yucca elata (Engelm.) Engelm. var. verdiensis (McKelvey) Reveal

Yucca utahensis McKelvey

Yucca verdiensis McKelvey

Soaptree Yucca

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassLiliidaeIncludes lilies, orchids, and many others
OrderAsparagalesA diverse group that includes asparagus
FamilyAsparagaceaeAgaves, asparagus, hyacinths, and others
GenusYuccaLinnaeus mistakenly derived the genus name from the Carib word for (similar-appearing) cassava, yuca
SpecieselataLatin for "tall" (from Stearn's Botanical Latin)

About plant names...

Soaptree yuccas are natives of southwestern North America. Soapy material in the roots and trunks were used as soap. Its fibrous leaves were used for basket weaving.

Identification: These small trees are 4-15' (1.2-4.5 m) tall, with a thick brown trunk, sometimes branched, mostly covered in a skirt of dried leaves. Leaves are in dense whorls at the top(s) of the trunk(s). They are yellowish and leather-like, measuring 10-39" (25-100 cm) × ⅛-½" (5-13 mm) wide, with wiry white filaments. The flowers are white, bell-shaped, about 1-2" (3-6 cm) long. Flowers are on a spike that emerges well above the leaves. The fruits are capsules 1½-3" (4-8 cm) × ¾-1½" (2-4 cm).

See the Yucca page for a comparison with other yuccas.

Online References:

Yucca elata at Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers and the Plants of the Sonoran Desert

Yucca elata on Wikipedia

Yucca elata on DesertUSA: Exploring the Southwest

Yucca elata at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Yucca elata as Compiled by the Master Gardeners of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension

References:

Irish, Mary & Irish, Gary, Agaves, Yuccas and Related Plants: A Gardener’s Guide, Timber Press, 2000, p. 241

Yucca elata (Soaptree Yucca)

5/25/2009 · Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Superior, AZ
≈ 4 × 6½' (1.3 × 2.0 m) ID is uncertain

Yucca elata description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Yucca elata (Soaptree Yucca)

5/24/2009 · Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ
≈ 4½ × 7' (1.5 × 2.2 m) ID is uncertain

Yucca elata (Soaptree Yucca)

5/25/2009 · Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Superior, AZ
≈ 4½ × 7' (1.4 × 2.1 m) ID is uncertain

Yucca elata (Soaptree Yucca)

5/25/2009 · Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Superior, AZ
≈ 4½ × 7' (1.4 × 2.2 m) ID is uncertain

Yucca elata (Soaptree Yucca)

5/25/2009 · Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Superior, AZ
≈ 10 × 7' (3.2 × 2.1 m) ID is uncertain

Range: Zones 7-12:

About this map...