Yucca elata (Engelm.) Engelm.
Yucca angustissima Engelm. ex Trel. var. elata Engelm.
Yucca elata (Engelm.) Engelm. var. elata
Yucca elata (Engelm.) Engelm. var. utahensis (McKelvey) Reveal
Yucca elata (Engelm.) Engelm. var. verdiensis (McKelvey) Reveal
Yucca utahensis McKelvey
Yucca verdiensis McKelvey
Soaptree yuccas are natives of southwestern North America. Soapy material in the roots and trunks were used as soap. Its fibrous leaves were used for basket weaving.
Identification: These small trees are 4-15' (1.2-4.5 m) tall, with a thick brown trunk, sometimes branched, mostly covered in a skirt of dried leaves. Leaves are in dense whorls at the top(s) of the trunk(s). They are yellowish and leather-like, measuring 10-39" (25-100 cm) × ⅛-½" (5-13 mm) wide, with wiry white filaments. The flowers are white, bell-shaped, about 1-2" (3-6 cm) long. Flowers are on a spike that emerges well above the leaves. The fruits are capsules 1½-3" (4-8 cm) × ¾-1½" (2-4 cm).
See the Yucca page for a comparison with other yuccas.
Yucca elata at Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers and the Plants of the Sonoran Desert
Yucca elata on Wikipedia
Yucca elata on DesertUSA: Exploring the Southwest
Yucca elata at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Yucca elata on cals.arizona.edu
Yucca elata description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.
Range: Zones 7-12: