Yucca plant with white flowers

Yucca plants are interesting and surprisingly versatile perennial garden plants which do well planted as a low privacy screen or on their own as interesting specimen plants in a small garden.

In welcoming climates, they are wonderful landscape plants. It is the New Mexico state flower.

In colder climates, some smaller species such as Yucca elephantipes make excellent houseplants.

One of the most interesting things about the Yucca is it’s beautiful and bountiful bloom time.

In ideal conditions, plants like Yucca aloifolia and Yucca gloriosa (spanish dagger) bloom annually in a carefree manner; however, if the conditions are not just right, they are frustratingly stubborn.

In this article, we discuss what to do if your Yucca plants do not bloom and what to do when it does.

Read on to learn more.

What Are the Ideal Conditions for Yucca Plants to Flower?

Yuccas, like Yucca filamentosa, are amazingly adaptable. Through millennia they have withstood a wide variety of settings.

Today there are over forty different types of Yucca doing well in Mexico, North America, and in the Caribbean.

Most varieties are very hardy and easy to care for, but whenever you acquire a Yucca plant, you must take care to correctly identify it and do a little research to determine what it needs to be happy with you.

Happy Yuccas Blooms Regularly

These slow-growing, evergreen perennials cut a dashing figure in the garden with their long, gray-green, dagger-like leaves.

Once a year (more or less) healthy, happy plants send up a tall, sturdy stalk topped with billows of fragrant, bell-shaped, creamy white blooms.

Ideally, blooming is annual. However, the yucca flower may be somewhat sporadic, depending on how happy your Yucca plants are in your setting.

Light & Temperature

It’s easy to grow Yuccas in the ground in areas where they are winter hardy year-round (winter hardiness varies from species-to-species) or in containers to be brought indoors in colder climates.

Drought-resistant yucca plants do beautifully in settings ranging from shade to sun, but if kept as houseplants, they will not do well without bright light from a window or artificial lighting.

Furthermore, if kept as a houseplant year-round, your Yucca plants are unlikely to bloom at all.

It’s best to allow these desert dwellers to live outdoors during the warmer months, even if they are container specimens.

Fertilizer

Like most desert plants, Yucca doesn’t need a great deal of fertilizer.

Still, a regular, light dose of fertilizer (once at the beginning of the growing season and once again toward the middle of the growing season) will encourage your Yucca plant to present its healthiest self and to bloom in abundance.

The best type of fertilizer to use for the Yucca plant is one organic and rich in phosphorus.

Bonemeal is an ideal choice to help your plant attain maximum health and flower enthusiastically. Get bonemeal at Amazon.

Grooming & Maintenance

Another way to encourage blooming is to trim back damaged or wilted leaves as they are unnecessary and consume some of the plant’s energy.

It’s better to keep your Yucca well-trimmed and tidy both for your enjoyment and for its health.

Do light pruning throughout the growing season and give your plant a more thorough pruning at the end of the growing season (usually early in October).

Do Yucca Flowers Smell?

Yucca flowers bloom at night and emit a deeply sweet scent attracting the plants’ sole pollinator, the Yucca moth.

Like most moths, Yucca moths fly at night, and the females are very attracted to the Yucca flowers’ rich scent.

The female moth visits the blossoms’ stamens and gathers pollen, then she moves on to another plant and deposits the pollen on its stigma.

In the process, she lays eggs inside the Yucca’s white flowers, which in turn protect the larvae and provide them with a source of food.

This is a symbiotic or mutually beneficial relationship.

The purpose of the moth is to pollinate Yuccas, and Yucca moths are the only plants these moths visit.

This is not to say no other pollinators visit these plants.

For example, hummingbirds are very attracted to the nectar and the scent of Yucca flowers.

Are All Yucca Flowers Edible?

Hummingbirds are not the only creatures who like the taste of Yucca flowers.

Many people also eat them.

Most parts of the Yucca plant are edible.

The “asparagus stalk” on which the blooms grow is considered a delicacy, and many people (especially Native Americans of the Southwest) enjoy it when it is young and tender.

Native Americans also make great use of all parts of the plant-eating the stalks, fruits, and also the blooms.

The leaves are very fibrous and are used to make string and rope.

The pulp of the heart of the plant is used to make soap.

It’s possible to eat Yucca blooms raw, but if you do, you must examine them carefully because they may be full of Yucca moth larvae as well as ants and other local insects.

Once carefully examined and cleaned, you’re sure to find Yucca petals are very tasty.

Flavor varies from one species to another, and the age of the flower also makes a difference to its flavor.

Blooms having become more mature are a little bitter. Remember you must only eat the petals.

They are thick, firm, crunchy, and taste a little bit like the most tender of artichoke leaves and/or green beans.

Some people say eating raw Yucca petals will make your throat itchy, but if you cook them, you will not have this problem.

There are quite a few recipes for cooking Yucca flowers.

Many of them are egg recipes such as huevos rancheros, omelets, and frittatas.

Yucca blossoms seem to pair well with Mexican type veggies such as chilies and tomatillos.

They are a good addition to stir-fries and also to a wide variety of soups.

As an appetizer, Yucca petals get fried like squash blossoms.

What Can You Do If Your Yucca Plant Won’t Flower?

There could be many reasons why your Yucca plant doesn’t want to bloom.

One of the most basic reasons is they must reach maturity before they bloom.

Don’t be impatient; your plant may simply not be old enough.

Another problem which may prevent your Yucca from blooming is it may not be warm enough.

Most yuccas bloom during the warmest time of year, although some species vary a bit on this.

Their tendency to bloom at the warmest time of year may cause them to bloom at different times each year, depending upon the weather.

If your Yucca plant did bloom at this time last year but is not blooming this year, compare this year’s weather with last year, and you may have your answer.

As mentioned earlier, water properly along with fertilizing and pruning will help encourage your Yucca plant to bloom.

Be sure to fertilize with bonemeal at the beginning and the midpoint of the growing season.

Keep struggling leaves trimmed back, and when your plant does bloom be sure to deadhead the old flower stalks and head to make room for new growing tips and blooms to grow next year.

How Do You Take Care Of a Yucca Plant After Blooming?

Even though Yuccas are members of the Liliaceae family, their flowers are nothing like lilies.

Full, opulent clusters of bell-shaped flowers form atop towering flower spires.

When this happens, there’s not a lot of care involved.

Simply enjoy the beautiful show your plant is putting on for you.

Yuccas are quite rugged and adaptable, so caring for them after bloom time is finished is also not very troublesome.

When the blooms begin to fade, you may want to deadhead the individual blossoms just for aesthetics’ sake.

Once all blooms are finished, decide whether you want to go ahead and remove the entire stem or leave it until the end of the growing season for a bit of architectural interest.

Will Deadheading the Individual Flowers Encourage More Flowers to Form?

Yuccas only produce a set number of flowers per year.

Deadheading the individual flowers will not result in more blooms, but it will make your plant look a bit tidier.

Removing the flowers is not required but will prevent the plant from making seeds.

If you want seeds and baby Yuccas, you’ll want to leave the flowers in place and let them go to seed.

If the plant does produce seeds, you may want to gather them, dry them, and use them in a controlled germination project.

Alternately, let nature take its course, and you may see some little Yucca plants within three weeks of the plant self-sowing.

Keep in mind it takes many years for seedling Yuccas to reach maturity and bloom.

Even so, they are attractive on their own without blooms.

How Do You Cut Out the Yucca Flower Stalk?

The Yucca flower stalks are the asparagus stalk which is such a delicacy.

If you catch it while it’s young, before any flowers begin to form, it’s quite easy to cut through it and to enjoy it as a fresh veggie.

If you wait until after the flowers bloom, you’ll find yourself dealing with quite a different object.

The dead flower stalks are thick and tough, and you will need some very powerful, very sharp pruners with very long handles.

To prepare for cutting the flower, be sure to sharpen your pruner blades and clean them to avoid spreading any sort of virus to your plant.

Put on a heavy, long-sleeved shirt, a pair of thick gardening gloves, and eye protection to prevent being injured by the plant’s sharp leaves.

Reach your pruners deep into the plant and cut out as much of the scape as possible.

Yuccas are usually finished blooming by mid-summer.

At this time, you want to be sure to give your plant a good, deep watering and keep a close eye out for pests such as:

  • Scale Insects
  • Mealybugs
  • Aphids

Do away with these pesky insects through the use of homemade insecticidal soap spray.

Also, watch for any offsets or pups your plant may have produced.

Either leave them in place or separate them from the parent plant and put them in pots to enjoy indoors through the wintertime.

Yucca Plant Flower Stock Photos and Images

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  • Yucca plant, in flower, against blue sky
  • Torey’s yucca in bloom on sand dunes, Los Medanos, New Mexico, USA
  • Yucca elepantipes in full bloom
  • Yucca plant flower bud (Yucca schidigera) – Mojave, California USA
  • Yucca plant flower growing in CanyonLands National Park, Utah, USA
  • Yucca rostrata, Yucca
  • A Yucca plant (Yucca species) grows in scrubby grassland in the western highlands of Guatemala.
  • Infrared photo of a Yucca Plant flower.
  • Yucca rostrata, Yucca
  • Yucca plant, blooming with white flowers
  • Tropical plant yucca in urban parks and gardens
  • New Mexico one tall Yucca plant flower stalk closeup view in La Luz town with bokeh background of desert
  • Yucca plant in full bloom, Little Rainbow Trail, Salida, Colorado, USA
  • Weak-leaf Yucca (Yucca flaccida), flowering plant.
  • yucca flower spike blooming bloom flowering plant desert paria wilderness utah
  • Yucca plant in flower France
  • Yucca blooming white flowers
  • Yucca whippiei plant in flower
  • Yucca gloriosa variegata in flower
  • A Mojave Yucca (Yucca schidigera) flowering in the Anza Borrego Desert in California.
  • Joshua tree in the Mojave desert, Los Angeles County, California, United States of America
  • Close-up of Yucca Flaccida Ivory plant
  • Mojave Yucca plants (Yucca schidigera, aka Spanish dagger), blooming in early spring – Mojave desert, California USA
  • Yucca plant flower growing in CanyonLands National Park, Utah, USA
  • Joshua tree in the Mojave desert, Los Angeles County, California, United States of America
  • Yucca in bloom, Robbers Roost Canyon, Utah.
  • Yucca plant in flower
  • Joshua tree in the Mojave desert, California, United States of America
  • Close up of a Yucca in flower in an English garden
  • Tropical plant yucca in urban parks and gardens
  • Joshua tree in the Mojave desert, California, United States of America
  • Yucca plant in full bloom, Little Rainbow Trail, Salida, Colorado, USA
  • Yucca plant in bloom in Burnet, Texas
  • yucca flower spike blooming bloom flowering plant desert paria wilderness utah
  • Joshua tree yucca plant flower bloom morning hike at California Poppy Reserve
  • yucca, century plant
  • Beschorneria Yuccoides Mexican Species in the Isles of Scilly
  • Yucca gloriosa variegata in flower
  • A Mojave Yucca (Yucca schidigera) flowering in the Anza Borrego Desert in California.
  • flower yucca. a photo
  • Yucca Plant Blossom
  • Mojave Yucca plants (Yucca schidigera, aka Spanish dagger), blooming in early spring – Mojave desert, California USA
  • Yucca plant flower growing in CanyonLands National Park, Utah, USA
  • White flower of plant Yucca on green in the garden
  • White Yucca Flower and Bindweed in Alora Countryside, Andalusia
  • Yucca plant in flower
  • Adam’s needle, weak-leaf Yucca (Yucca filamentosa), flower
  • Yucca flower plant in cold winter day with partially dried flowers on blue sky and dried trees background
  • Tropical plant yucca in urban parks and gardens
  • Landscape with wild Yucca plant in full bloom on the italian beach. Coastal vegetation, desert plants. Migliarino san rossore National Park. Tuscany,
  • Yucca plant in full bloom, Little Rainbow Trail, Salida, Colorado, USA
  • Yucca in Bloom. Yucca Plant in Bloom. Yucca Flowers. Yucca Plant Flowering at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area in the Texas Hill Country. Texas USA
  • yucca gloriosa flower spike slowers flowering spire spires spikes garden plant evergreen desert plant RM Floral
  • Joshua tree yucca plant flower bloom morning hike at California Poppy Reserve
  • The flowering stem of a Yucca cacti partially blooming
  • Yucca aloifolia plant
  • Yucca gloriosa variegata in flower
  • A Mojave Yucca (Yucca schidigera) flowering in the Anza Borrego Desert in California.
  • Close up of a Yukka plant in bloom with white flowers against a blue sky
  • Yucca flower
  • Mojave Yucca plants (Yucca schidigera, aka Spanish dagger), blooming in early spring – Mojave desert, California USA
  • Yucca plant flower growing in CanyonLands National Park, Utah, USA
  • White flower of plant Yucca on green in the garden.. Close up
  • Yucca flower isolated on white background
  • Chaparral Yucca tree (Our Lord’s candle) blooming on hillside in early spring 2019 . Hesperoyucca whipplei is a plant native to southern California.
  • Poitrait of Yucca filamentosa plant in full bloom. White exotic flowers & long green leaves on blue sky background. Texas desert.
  • A flowering Adam’s Needle (Yucca filamentosa) at the beach
  • Blooming Torrey’s yucca (Yucca torreyi) Chisos Mountains, Chihuanhuan Desert
  • Joshua Tree, Yucca brevifolia, Asparagaceae. Native to southwestern North America, California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada.
  • Yucca plant in full bloom, Little Rainbow Trail, Salida, Colorado, USA
  • Yucca in Bloom. Yucca Plant in Bloom. Yucca Flowers. Yucca Plant Flowering at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area in the Texas Hill Country. Texas USA
  • yucca gloriosa flower spike slowers flowering spire spires spikes garden plant evergreen desert plant RM Floral
  • Joshua tree yucca plant flower bloom morning hike at California Poppy Reserve
  • The flowering stem of a Yucca cacti partially blooming
  • yucca plant pattern cactus botanical spike point flower
  • Close up of the flower of a Yucca
  • Closeup of flowers with rain drops on a blooming yucca plant in a garden in Winkler, Manitoba, Canada.
  • A yucca plant
  • Yucca flower stalk in bloom
  • Mojave Yucca plants (Yucca schidigera, aka Spanish dagger), blooming in early spring – Mojave desert, California USA
  • Yucca plant flower growing in CanyonLands National Park, Utah, USA
  • White flower of plant Yucca on green in the garden.. Close up
  • Yucca Flower Chama River New Mexico
  • Chaparral Yucca tree (Our Lord’s candle) blooming on hillside in early spring 2019 . Hesperoyucca whipplei is a plant native to southern California.
  • Yucca gloriosa, Yucca plant in flower, Blue Sky Background, September 2018, noon, Andalucia Spain
  • Yucca plant in flower Portugal
  • Torrey Yucca Yucca torreyi
  • joshua tree, Yucca brevifolia in flower; Mojave Desert.
  • Yucca plant in full bloom, Little Rainbow Trail, Salida, Colorado, USA
  • The last autumn flowers of red pelargonium, pansies, petunias and Yucca palms in a decorative flower bed on the street in Gyumri
  • Yucca flower
  • Joshua tree yucca plant flower bloom morning hike at California Poppy Reserve
  • The flowering stem of a Yucca cacti partially blooming
  • Yucca flower
  • Close up of the flower of a Yucca
  • Closeup of flowers with rain drops on a blooming yucca plant in a garden in Winkler, Manitoba, Canada.
  • Yucca tree with flower
  • yucca the flower grows
  • Mojave Yucca plants (Yucca schidigera, aka Spanish dagger), blooming in early spring – Mojave desert, California USA
  • Yucca plant flower growing in CanyonLands National Park, Utah, USA

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Yucca

Yucca

These tough plants are rock stars in a full-sun garden and can stand up to some serious drought. Grown primarily for their showy evergreen foliage, some yuccas put on candelabra-like blossoms. Not only do these plants work well in a dry garden as an architectural accent, but they also make a prized container plant. But do be careful, if planted in anything other than well-drained soil, yuccas can develop root rot. Avoid planting them near walkways because of their thorny tips.

genus name
  • Yucca
light
  • Sun
plant type
  • Perennial
height
  • 1 to 3 feet,
  • 3 to 8 feet,
  • 8 to 20 feet,
  • 20 feet or more
width
  • From 3 to 15 feet, depending on variety
flower color
  • White,
  • Pink
foliage color
  • Blue/Green
season features
  • Fall Bloom,
  • Summer Bloom,
  • Colorful Fall Foliage,
  • Winter Interest
problem solvers
  • Deer Resistant,
  • Drought Tolerant
special features
  • Low Maintenance,
  • Attracts Birds,
  • Fragrance,
  • Good for Containers
zones
  • 4,
  • 5,
  • 6,
  • 7,
  • 8,
  • 9,
  • 10,
  • 11
propagation
  • Division,
  • Seed

Colorful Combinations

The foliage of the yucca is the main draw of growing these architectural plants. The leaves come in a wide variety of colors, most often a silvery green. You can also find them in variegated varieties with gold, green, cream, blue, and, in the right season, pink. Some yuccas have thread-like filaments that curl off the edge of foliage for a unique addition to the evergreen leaves. The texture of the foliage can vary from thin, almost grass-like leaves to thick, wide leaves. These flowers develop on extremely tall stalks in masses of white and cream, and sometimes blush pink.

The yucca plant has co-evolved alongside several species of moths; their symbiotic relationship benefits both plants and moths. The yucca emits a fragrance at night to attract the moths to pollinate them. As the moths begin to mate, the female finds a freshly opened bloom and works her way down to the ovary of the flower. Once there, she makes a small hole in the ovary and lays her eggs. On her way out, she pollinates the flowers and marks them with a pheromone indicating to other moths that that flower has been taken. As the eggs mature and grow, they feed on the growing seeds of the yucca flower but leave enough remaining seeds for the plant to reproduce.

See which perennials to pair with yucca here.

Yucca Care Must-Knows

Because many species of yuccas are native to the driest and most arid areas of the United States, these plants make great rugged garden companions. Yuccas require well-drained soil or they will quickly rot and die. When planting along with other perennials, make sure to avoid pairing with plants that will need continuous water as this is not an ideal environment for yuccas. While yuccas are tolerant of different soil conditions, including sand and clay, it is important they remain dry. Yuccas make a great container plant that will continue to thrive even if you forget about them. The more tropical species can then be brought indoors for the winter.

Their native growth in wide-open areas with little overhead competition also means these plants perform best in the garden in full sun which provides the most intense colorations of the variegated varieties, as well as the most prolific flowers. While yuccas can survive in part sun, plants will often become sparse and leaves will be more narrow and leggy. Part sun also increases the likelihood of rot, as soil is more likely to stay wet.

Create a garden with tough-as-nails perennials.

More Varieties of Yucca

‘Bright Edge’ yucca

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This variety,Yucca filamentosa, makes a substantial clump of rigid, spiny-tipped variegated leaves about 2 1/2-feet long, edged with curly threads. The leaves are broadly banded with creamy yellow. Imposing 8- to 10-foot-tall spires of white flowers appear in mid- to late summer. It is hardy in Zones 4-11.

‘Color Guard’ yucca

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Yucca flaccida has beautiful foliage streaked with bright gold down the center, and looks stunning year round. Stalks of white blooms as tall as 6 feet may appear in spring. It is hardy in Zones 4-10.

Spanish dagger

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Yucca gloriosa has evergreen clumps of stiff, pointed 2-foot leaves that arch as they mature. Upright panicles of 2-inch white bells may reach 8 feet tall. It is hardy in Zones 7-11.

Spineless yucca

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This type of Yucca elephantipes is a variety often grown as a houseplant. This yucca lacks the needle-like spines and can reach staggering heights of up to 30 feet. It is hardy in Zones 9-10.

Variegated yucca

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This variegated selection of Yucca aloifolia is a form of the southeastern U.S. native that can reach up to 7 feet tall. It is hardy in Zones 7-9

Plant Yucca With:

One of the longest bloomers in the garden, coreopsis produces (usually) sunny yellow daisylike flowers that attract butterflies. Coreopsis, depending on the variety, also bears golden-yellow, pale yellow, pink, or bicolor flowers. It will bloom from early to midsummer or longer as long as it’s deadheaded.

A favorite of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers, hens-and-chicks are popular once again with gardeners looking for drought-tolerant, easy care plants. Darlings of today’s xeriscape gardens, trough gardens, and rooftop gardens, these plants are appreciated for their easy care and tolerance for extremely dry conditions. The neat rosettes multiply freely by runners that form dense colonies. Flowering rosettes die after bloom time, but are quickly replaced. They are excellent between pavers on patios and walkways.

There are hundreds of different types of salvias, commonly called sage, but they all tend to share beautiful, tall flower spikes and attractive, often gray-green leaves. Countless sages (including the herb used in cooking) are available to decorate ornamental gardens, and new selections appear annually. They are valued for their very long season of bloom, right up until frost. Not all not hardy in cold climates, but they are easy to grow as annuals. On square stems, clothed with often-aromatic leaves, sages carry dense or loose spires of tubular flowers in bright blues, violets, yellow, pinks, and red that mix well with other perennials in beds and borders. Provide full sun or very light shade, in well-drained average soil.

The New Mexico State Flower

The Yucca Flower

The New Mexico state flower is the Yucca (pronounced “yuh-ka”) Flower.
There are various types of yucca throughout the state and no single species has been named the state flower. The New Mexico Legislature officially adopted the “yucca flower” on March 14, 1927 as the state flower without designating a specific variety as such.
One of the most notable species of yucca is the Yucca glauca, which is also known by the name soapweed yucca, soaptree, narrowleaf yucca, plains yucca, great plains yucca, and beargrass. Some people assume this is actually the state flower, and while they aren’t wrong they aren’t correct either. I figure if it’s a yucca flower, it counts!
The New Mexico state flower is said to resemble a sword with its towering clusters of white flowers jutting out of sharply tapered dark green leaves.
The yucca thrives in New Mexico, despite the fact it is an arid desert, because yucca require only a small amount of water to survive.

Yucca Flower Characteristics

Yucca Glauca. White Sands, New Mexico

There are approximately 40 to 50 species of the yucca flower found across the state and a vast portion of southwest America. The physical features of the yucca glauca include spiky, almost thorn-like and brawny leaves. The leaves maintain an evergreen color and form a starburst effect fanning around the base of the plant. Tall, fibrous stalks sprout from the center of this dark green bush and at the apex a dense clump of white flowers emerges.
The New Mexico state flower blooms during the spring and early summer. When the yucca flower is blooming it exudes a sweet, fragrant smell, which is not only pleasing to us, but also serves as an invitation to the yucca moth, its prime pollinator.

The Yucca Moth

The yucca moth (Tegeticula yuccasella) and the New Mexico state flower have a give-and-take relationship. The mutualistic pollination system relies on the yucca moth to transfer pollen from the stamens of one plant to the stigma of another; it is the only pollinator for the yucca glauca. Without our little moth friend our yuccas would cease to exist. In fact, because the lives of the yucca moth are so short, they don’t even need to eat! The moths function solely to continue pollination of our yuccas.
The female yucca moth is responsible for pollination, which she does at night. Also during the night, she lays her eggs. After the eggs are laid and hatch, the larvae feed on the seeds in the yucca flower heads. Additionally, the flowers offer protection to the growing larvae. The larvae mature, drop to the ground, burrow and hibernate a year until they emerge fully grown yucca moths.
The yucca moth is perfectly designed to gather pollen from the flower because pollination encourages the plant to bloom, and the seeds within those blooms are food for the larvae. Without pollination, there would be no seeds, and the yucca moth would die off.

The Yucca Flower In New Mexico

The New Mexico state flower has been given the title “Lamparas de Dios” or “Lamps of the Lord” by visitors. Early people to the area designated the yucca flower as “Our Lord’s Candles”. This often refers to the yucca glauca species.
This name came about during the night when its clusters of pale-yellow flowers are lit by the moon (we have almost no pollution), pointing toward the heavens, and adding luminosity to the desert’s dark nights.
The yucca glauca had many uses and benefits to the Native Americans. Early settlers of the land, particularly in the Southwest, used to weave and braid the leaves. These weavings formed their baskets, shoes, ropes & cords, thatch for roofs, and more.
The New Mexico state flower is a cousin to the Soaptree Yucca (Yucca Elata). The Soaptree varietal is where many species of yucca are colloquially called soaptree and soapweed. This yucca flower sprouts from a tall, shaggy trunk. The roots and trunk of the soaptree yucca contain saponins which are naturally soapy. Native Americans ground the roots and made mild soaps and shampoos from it. Yucca root is still used in soaps and shampoos today and is an excellent option for natural or holistic lifestyles.
Soaptree Yucca Sunset. Courtesy Jim O’Donnell
While the roots of yucca are not edible (like a yuca, or cassava) the plant does provide nourishment. Yucca fruit can be eaten raw or dried, baked, broiled, steamed, or pickled. The flowers can be eaten raw, candied, fried or sauteed. Some people even steam the stems and liken them to asparagus. We have yucca recipes, too!
The yucca glauca is popular in Western herbal tradition for a variety of uses. It is known for its effect on joint problems and arthritis and for reducing blood pressure. There are several traditional yucca root powder uses for health. It is also claimed to be effective for arthritis in animals, too!
The wood of the yucca plant has historically been used to start fires. It is excellent tinder, probably due to the fact it is a low water consuming plant.
Grow Your Own Yucca!

Most commonly the yucca flower is planted for its ornamental attraction and ease of care. It is found prominently in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, but also frequently throughout the state. There exist several popular yucca plant varieties for landscaping.
I hope you enjoyed reading about our state flower. The yucca has provided lifestyle benefits to people in the Southwest for centuries, as well as being an identifiable character of the region.
Related Pages:
New Mexico State History
New Mexico State Capital History
New Mexico State Flag
New Mexico State Bird

Yucca (Yucca)

Interesting facts about Yucca:

Yucca plants are nutritious and have anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antioxidant properties. They contain important nutrients such as vitamins B, C, calcium and iron. Yucca has been used for the treatment of arthritis, colitis, hypertension and migraine headaches.

The plant has been used by Native Americans for thousands of years. The Native Americans used the roots and trunk of the soaptree yucca (Yucca elata) to make soap. They also used the fiber of the soaptree yucca leaves to make belts, cloth, sandals and baskets. Yucca leaves are also used ceremonially by the Navajos. Cherokee tribe used the roots of Yucca as a medicine to treat rashes and sores.

Yucca can help you with your washing and beauty as well, despite the fact that Yucca is a key ingredient in natural shampoo.

Early American settlers called them “Lamparas de Dios” or “the Lamps of God.”

In 1927, New Mexico selected the Yucca flower as the official state flower.

The Yucca plant reproduces through a symbiotic relationship with moths of the genus Tegeticula, that pollinates the yucca and survives on its nectar. Without the Yucca the moth would probably die and without the moth the Yucca would not naturally produce seed.

According to the NASA research, the Yucca is one of the most popular air cleaning plants that remove toxins from the air.

Yucca Tree Stock Photos and Images

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  • Yucca tree
  • Joshua Tree National Park Yucca Tree
  • Yucca Plant, Joshua Tree National Park California USA
  • Yucca tree blooming in Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA.
  • Yucca Tree in Flower Joshua Tree National Park Arizona
  • Large Yucca tree
  • ‘Giant Yucca tree’ in ‘Wrigley Memorial Botanical Garden’ on Catalina Island
  • Yucca tree Agave Gran Canaria Spain
  • Valley Of Yucca Tree Cactus In High Desert
  • Chaparral Yucca tree (Our Lord’s candle) blooming on hillside in early spring 2019 . Hesperoyucca whipplei is a plant native to southern California.
  • Sun behind yucca tree
  • Yucca tree in RV resort with street lamp
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  • Joshua Tree, Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave Desert, California, USA,
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  • Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) in Joshua Tree National Park, California.
  • Yucca Guatemaltensis group, origen Mexico, in Botanicactus garden, Mallorca, Spain
  • Yucca tree blooming in Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA.
  • Granite rocks and Joshua Trees (Yucca brevifolia) Joshua Tree National Park, California USA
  • A yucca tree and rock formations in Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA
  • Morning view of Yucca tree blossom at Los Angeles, California
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  • Chaparral Yucca tree (Our Lord’s candle) blooming on hillside in early spring 2017 . Hesperoyucca whipplei is a plant native to southern California
  • Mojave yucca (Yucca schidigera), Joshua Tree National Park, California.
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  • Joshua tree, Yucca brevifolia in Joshua Tree National Park; California, USA
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  • Joshua Tree
  • Joshua Tree, Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave Desert, California, USA
  • Joshua tree at Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA, in black and white.
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  • Joshua Tree, Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave Desert, California, USA
  • Joshua tree at Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA.
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Joshua Tree

(Image credit: Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher)

Joshua Trees (Yucca brevifolia) are the largest of the yucca plants that grow naturally in the desert areas of southwestern California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. They prefer the dry, sandy soil of this region and are found at elevations between 2,000 and 6,000 feet (600 and 1,800 meters).

(Image credit: Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher)

Large, natural stands of these picturesque, evergreen, spike-leafed yuccas can be found and are protected at the Joshua Tree National Park near Twentynine Palms, California. This 585,000- acre national park is a wilderness paradise for the plants and animals naturally found in the southern range of the Mojave Desert.

(Image credit: Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher)

This symbol of the Mojave Desert can live to between 100 and 300 years and grows to a height of 30 feet (9 m), with a 3-foot (1-m) diameter. Long thought to be members of the agave family, the Joshua Tree and all yuccas have recently been reclassified as members of the Lily (Liliaceae) Family. Like all yucca, Joshua Trees rely on the Pronuba moth (Tegeticula yuccasella) to pollinate its creamy cluster of white flowers.

(Image credit: Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher)

The richness and variety of life found in the Mojave Desert is highlighted throughout the wilderness landscape of the national park. Ancient fault lines allow the flowing water of underground rivers to seep to the surface creating desert oases of cottonwood and fan palm trees. Such oases also once allowed for small groups of native peoples to live in this dry, harsh environment .

(Image credit: Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher)

There are 158-desert fan palm oases found across North America and five happen to be located in this natural park of the Mojave Desert. The desert fan palm (Washingtonia filifera) is native to this area and can live up to 80 to 90 years. These trees, which seem so out-of-place in this desert landscape, can grow up to 75 feet (23 m) in height and weigh as much as 3 tons (nearly 3,000 kilograms). The leaves of the desert palm can reach 6 feet (2 m) in length and nearly as wide.

(Image credit: Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher)

Outcroppings of interesting geological formations are found throughout this part of the Mojave Desert. The powerful movement of the Earth’s crustal plates created washes, playas and alluvial fans of beauty and intricacy and has long shaped this desert land. The igneous rock intrusions are monzogranite, a type of granitic rock composed of quartz, mica and feldspar. The current desert landscape began to be formed about a million years ago and as ironic as it may seem, rushing water was the main eroding agent.

(Image credit: Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher)

Great stands of Ocotillos (Fonquieria splendens) can also be found here in this wilderness of the southern Mojave Desert. These interesting desert dwellers are members of the Candlewood Family and at times have been called Candlewood, Simwood, Coachwhip and Vine Cactus (even though they are not a member of the cactus family).

(Image credit: Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher)

These multi-armed, bajada loving scrubs can grow to a height of 20 feet (6 m) and some species can have as many as 75 slender canes. During times of rain, small leaves line the canes to carry on the process of photosynthesis. During times of drought that process is completed by chlorophyll found within the structure of the canes. Rain also results in clusters of orange flowers gracing the tips of each cane. Ocotillos are related to the unique Boojum Trees of Baja California.

(Image credit: Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher)

Great cholla forests are also found in this part of the Mojave Desert. These scrubby cacti represent some 20 different species in the North American deserts . All have cylindrical stems made up of segmented joints. These stems, which are really adapted branches, serve as the location for photosynthesis and water storage.

(Image credit: Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher)

The joints of some species of cholla are easily broken off and this fact has giving rise to the untruthful legend that the joints actually “jump” and attach themselves to any animal or human passing by. Legends aside, the spines of the cholla, which are actually modified leaves, are painful when they attach themselves to an unaware visitor walking though a cholla forest.

(Image credit: Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher)

Creosote bush (Larrea divaricata) is a common plant of this area. It’s roots have the unusual ability to release a poison into the ground which prevent other desert scrubs from growing nearby, thus assuring that all precious rainfall is absorbed by the first creosote bush that begins to grow in that spot. This predatory characteristic resulted in the creosote bush being given the Spanish nickname “el gobernador ,” the governor!

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