Yucca glauca Liliaceae, Agavaceae
Small Soapweed, Soapwell, Beargrass YUK-ah GLA-ka
- Broadleaf evergreen shrub, 1-6 ft tall (1-2 m), one, occasionally two, clusters of long pointed leaves.
Leaves narrow linear, 30-70 cm long, 6 to 10 mm wide, grayish or glaucous green, with a narrow white edge,
usually with few fibers. Flowers are bell-shaped, pendulous, greenish white, 6-7 cm long, on a
tall cluster (panicle), 100-200 cm, narrow and rarely branched. Fruit develops into an oblong,
woody capsule containing many flat, glossy, black, winged seeds, about 12 mm long.
- Sun, well-drained soil Drought-tolerant, useful for dry sites.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 3 Extensive native range, from southern Alberta and
Saskatchewan to New Mexico, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas,
Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri.
- First described for science in 1813 by the English botanist-naturalist Thomas Nuttall.
- Common name: (Small) Soapweed Yucca, because its roots and palm-like leaves provided materials for the making
of soap and baskets. A much larger species, Yucca elata, is also called Soapweed Yucca.
- glauca: gray-green, a reference to its leaves.