Scientific Name: Yucca elata Engelm.
Synonym: Yucca radiosa, Yucca verdiensis, Yucca utahensis, Yucca angustifolia var. radiosa, Yucca angustifolia var. elata
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Recommended Temperature Zone:|
Frost Tolerance: Hardy to 0°F (-18°C)
Sun Exposure: Full sun to light shade
Origin: USA (Arizona to Texas), northern Mexico
Growth Habits: Tree like succulent, up to 20 feet tall (6 m), 10 feet wide (3 m)
Watering Needs: Little to moderate water
Propagation: Seeds, cuttings, root cuttings
The pulped roots can be used to produced soap, this is why this yucca is called 'soaptree'. The buds, flowers and stalks are edible, raw or cooked.
The species name "elata" comes from the Latin for "high".
The leaves are narrow and flexible, generally less than 0.3 inches in diameter (7 mm), and can be up to 3 feet long (90 cm). Compressed fibers at the edge of the leaves make a smooth white margin.
The soaptree yucca has white flowers from May to July. It generally doesn't bloom every year. The pollination is done exclusively by the Yucca Moth (Tegeticula yuccasella). The fruit ripen from August to September.
The seeds should be soaked for 24 hours before sowing. The germination rate is usually very good, and most seeds germinate in one to two weeks. The soaptree yucca has large rhizomes that can sprout new offsets, or can be used as cuttings.