Yucca Facts

Yucca Facts
Yucca is an evergreen shrub that belongs to the asparagus family. There are 49 species of yucca that can be found in the southwestern parts of the North America, Mexico and in the Central and South America. Yucca grows in hot, arid conditions on dry, sandy, well-drained soil in areas that provide enough sun. It can be found in deserts, prairies, grasslands, light woodlands, coastal areas and mountains. People cultivate yucca as a source of food, medicine and in ornamental purposes.
Interesting Yucca Facts:
Yucca has succulent stem that can reach 1 to 3 feet in height and 4 to 6 feet in width.
Yucca develops tough, pointed, sword-shaped leaves that grow in whrols. Leaves are green or bluish colored and covered with white, yellowish or creamy stripes and sharp spines on the tips.
Yucca produces bisexual flowers (they contain both types of reproductive organs). Clusters of creamy white or pink flowers develop on top of the long flower stalks. Individual flowers are tulip-shaped.
Yucca blooms during the spring and early summer. Flowers are oriented downwards during the day. They change position and orient themselves upwards during the night. Flowers release pleasant odor that is especially prominent during the night to attract yucca moths, responsible for the pollination of this plant.
Yucca moth is specialized for the pollination of yucca flowers. Females transfer pollen from one flower to another and at the same time lay eggs into the ovary. That way, larva will develop inside the seed pod that will provide enough food for the successful development of the moth (there will still remain enough seed to ensure successful propagation of the plant).
Fruit of yucca is grey-green, cylindrical-shaped seed pod.
Yucca flowers are edible and taste like bitter artichoke. Besides the flowers, fruit, seed and stems can be also used in human diet.
Birds, pronghorn antelope and mule deer like to eat flowers of yucca.
Root of yucca was used for the manufacture of soaps and shampoos in the past.
Native Americans used fibers from the leaves of yucca for the manufacture of ropes and dental floss.
Various indigenous tribes used yucca for the manufacture of sandals, clothes, baskets and mats.
Native Americans used yucca in treatment of arthritis, painful joints, inflammation, skin injuries, sprains and to stop the bleeding.
Extract of yucca can be also used in treatment of liver and kidney disorders, hypertension, migraine, wounds and hypercholesterolemia. Latest medical studies suggest that yucca has potential to prevent formation of blood clots (and associated disorders such as stroke and heart attack).
Foaming properties of yucca extract have wide application in the industry of beer. Yucca is also used for the preparation of various cocktails.
Yucca can survive up to 1.000 years in the wild.

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