Yucca is a genus of about 50 species of evergreen perennials, shrubs and trees. It belongs to the family of Asparagaceae and is native to North America, Mexico and the Caribbean.
These versatile and easy-to-care plants come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. They are known for their spiky sword-like leaves and beautiful bell-shaped flowers. The flowers are usually fragrant and white or cream in color. They are ideal for people who have little time or travel frequently because of their low maintenance requirements.
The genus name comes from the Taino (native Caribbean) name for the plant Yuca.
The name “Yucca” was mistakenly given to the genus by Carl Linnaeus, as it is the Latinized variation of “Yuca”, the Caribbean name for Cassava (Manihot esculenta).
Early American settlers called them “Lamparas de Dios” or “the Lamps of God”, due to their beautiful white flowers that seemingly lit the way during their long and dangerous journey.
Yucca symbolizes protection, purity and purification.
Interesting facts about Yucca
Symbiotic Relationship Between Yucca Plants and Yucca Moths
Yucca reproduces through a symbiotic relationship with moths of the genus Tegeticula that pollinate the plant and survive on its nectar. The relationship between the two is so close that each of the organisms is unable to survive without the other. It is an example of obligate mutualism, where both species have to rely on the other to survive.
Yucca – Air Cleaning Plant
According to NASA research, the Yucca is one of the most popular air cleaning plants that remove toxins from the air. It is a great indoor plant which can help you to clean your air, ease your stress and increase your focus.
Yucca in the USA
In 1927, New Mexico selected the Yucca as its state flower, without specifying a particular species.
Benefits and Uses
This plant is nutritious and valued by herbalists for its medicinal properties.
It contains important nutrients such as vitamins B and C, calcium and iron. Yucca has been used for the treatment of arthritis, colitis, hypertension and migraine headaches. It has anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antioxidant properties.
The plant has been used by Native Americansfor many things for thousands of years.
The Native Americans used the roots and trunk of Soaptree Yucca (Yucca elata) to make soap. They also used the fiber of Soaptree Yucca leaves to make belts, cloth, sandals and baskets. Cherokee tribe used the roots of Yucca as a medicine to treat rashes and sores. The leaves are also used ceremonially by the Navajos.
Yucca can also help you with your beauty needs, as it is an active ingredient used in many organically skin care cosmetics.
Yucca Plant Data
Cactus - Succulents, Shrubs, Trees
The Yucca plant has green, sword-like leaves and white or whitish flowers.
Spring, Autumn, Summer
Yucca grows from 60 cm to 4,5 metres (2 to 15 ft) high, depending on species.
This plant grows best in sandy and well drained soil, with a pH level between 5.5 and 7.5.