Soapweed Yucca

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Other Names:
Plains Yucca, Small Soapweed, Beargrass, Spanish Bayonet, Narrowleaf Yucca
Latin Name:
Yucca glauca
Size *

Soapweed Yucca is a dryland, evergreen herb with beautiful, edible flowers and fruits - native to the Midwest. 

Edible Uses

Soapweed Yucca has edible fruits, flowers, and flower stalks.  Fruits can be eaten raw or cooked and dried for later use.  Flowers are said to be delicious, and can be eaten raw or cooked.  Flower stems can be used like asparagus stalks.  Leaves and roots have various other medicinal and practical uses. 

***NOTE: Roots contain saponins, and should NOT be eaten. 

Ornamental Qualities

Soapweed Yucca is a very ornamental plant.  Its evergreen leaves shoot outward in every direction, like a porcupine.  Its pithy stalk extends upward to height of up to 6ft, creating a strong presence in the garden.  Its dense cream-colored flowers dangle delicately from the stem.  Even as the stalk ages and browns, and the seedpods mature, the plant still holds interest and intrigue.  It looks great alongside other dryland native herbs, such as Biscuitroots and Balsamroots, or underneath dryland trees like Pinyon Pines.  

Environment and Culture

Soapweed Yucca is home to Midwest North America, where it inhabits the widest range of any North American Yucca (there are over 40 species).  Throughout it's range, it lives within a variety of habitats, including high deserts, open plains and grasslands, pine forests, and more.  It prefers full sun and well-drained soils with a balanced or high pH.  

Northwest Native American tribes today still value this special plant as food, medicine, and family.  Despite great cultural losses, they continue to work towards stewarding and restoring wild populations, both strengthening the integrity of the ecology and sustaining their cultural heritage and wisdom.  These strong and recovering peoples and plants deserve our respect, gratitude, and reparations. (Learn more & how to help on our Charitable Giving page.)

Native Range: MidWest and SouthWest States
USDA zones: 4-8
Ease of Care: Very Easy
Deer Resistance: Very High
Light Requirements: Full Sun
Soil Type: Any, prefers well-drained and slightly alkaline
Water Requirements: Dry to Moist
Pollination: Self-Fertile
Size at Maturity: 1-6ft
Bloom Time: mid-Summer
Harvest Time: Spring through late Summer