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Monday, April 12, 2010

Yucca


These photos of yuccas were taken at the Mission San Jose in San Antonio. Interesting facts about the yuccas are:


Yucca is an evergreen plant and in bloom produces a large stalk of white or purplish blossoms. They are pollinated by the yucca moth, and in its absence they rarely fruit striking an example of interdependence, since the moth, which lays its eggs during pollination and whose larvae feed on some of the developing seeds, cannot reproduce without the yucca. The leaves are stiff and spear like. Native peoples of the region used the tough leaves for fiber. Yucca is also an excellent source of soap or detergent. When the central stem are pounded and soaked in water, the resultant mix will foam due to the saponins they contain. In the South Texas Plains, the Spanish Dagger provides the best source of this natural detergent. Many groups used yucca as soap for bathing, and for washing clothing, hair and anything else that needed cleaning, and they probably baked the central stem for food. . The flowers are edible, when picked at the right time, and the fruit of some species is edible when baked or roasted. Yucca fruit are not only sweet, they are like a very strong laxative.

Yucca is the state flower of New Mexico.

Photos were taken with a Nikon D5000 18-55mm lens.

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