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Useful Plants

This article is to cover plants that are useful in the wild. Our other articles covered Edible Plants, Medicinal Plants, and Poisonous Plants. In this article we will cover subjects such as cordage, hygiene, and bug repellents.

Note: The scope of this article is to cover plants that we have used in the field. We discuss the usefulness of the plant and talk about other possible benefits. Please do your own research and always consult multiple sources before experimenting with plants of any type. Keep in mind that some people can be allergic to fruits such as strawberries. There is no way to know how allergic you may be to the plant. What would be perfectly ok for one person, could cause a lot of pain and discomfort for another.

Yucca (Yucca L. , Yucca aloifolia L.)

Spanish Dagger

harvested: October 17, 2009
location: Arizona

Group: Monocot
Family: Agavaceae
Uses: Soap / Shampoo , Cordage, Food

The Yucca plant (Agave family) has many uses. The Yucca genus consists of over 40 species in the USA. Different types of Yucca grow all over the United States and range into other countries. (Yucca filamentosa , Yucca schidigera, Yucca aloifolia, Yucca whipplei, etc)

Yucca is high in Saponin. The root is usually used for soap/shampoo while the leaves can be used for cordage. Although the roots are normally used to make soap, the yucca leaves will also release soap like suds. We use a stone to crush the leaf against a piece of wood. After properly smashing the leaves, the outer skin of the leaf can be removed using a knife or hand flaked stone knife.
Once the outer layer is removed, we add water and roll the leaf between our palms. Please see images below:

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