yucca

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yucca

(yŭk`ə), any plant of the genus Yucca, stiff-leaved stemless or treelike succulents of the family Liliaceae (lilylily,
common name for the Liliaceae, a plant family numbering several thousand species of as many as 300 genera, widely distributed over the earth and particularly abundant in warm temperate and tropical regions.
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 family), native chiefly to the tablelands of Mexico and the American Southwest but found also in the E United States and the West Indies. Yuccas in flower produce a large stalk of white or purplish blossoms. They are pollinated by yucca moths, and in its absence they rarely fruit—a striking 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 usually stiff and spearlike, often with marginal threads. Several species are known as Adam's-needle, particularly those that are hardy and are cultivated in the North, most common of which is Y. filamentosa. The Joshua tree (Y. brevifolia) is a picturesque treelike species of desert regions. Mormons crossing the California deserts are said to have so named it because the grotesquely angular branches looked like the outstretched arms of a Joshua leading them out of the wilderness. The Spanish bayonet (Y. aloifolia) is another that is treelike in form, and the Spanish dagger (Y. gloriosa) is stemless or has a short trunk. The fruits and sometimes the flowers of several species of yucca were used as food by Native Americans. Certain species, particularly Y. baccata and Y. glauca, are called soap plant because of the use of their roots for soap. The fibers of some kinds have been utilized. A yucca is the state flower of New Mexico. Yuccas are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Liliopsida, order Liliales, family Liliaceae.
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yucca
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yucca

yucca

Very pointy sharp spiky leaves, white flower stalk. Inner stem (aerial root) & root is what you want. Source of sterols and saponins. Sterols bind cholesterol, help formation of hormones through adrenal glands. High in resveratrol- a very strong anti-aging anti-tumor phytoestogen that counters a lot of the stronger estrogens which can accelerate the growth of cancer cells. (plastic for example is an estrogenic compound) Saponins are natural steroidal anti-inflammatory- great for ulcerative colitis, gastritis, any type of intestinal inflammation, arthritis, asthma and some allergies. It's a soap molecule- indians used it to wash hair and stimulate hair growth by using it as shampoo and soap. Flowers are edible. Do not eat the spiky leaves, their juice was used by indians to make poison arrows. Inner stem and root is anti-inflammatory, assists in absorption of nutrients. Supports the growth of beneficial intestinal flora. Extracts have bee used for tumors and melanoma. Make steam bath with root for broken bones and sprains. Yucca root- Grind up inner white powdery stem, make a tea out of it. Also very beneficial to soil… grind up and add to soil. Because it holds moisture like a sponge, this stuff makes a great mulch in the garden, because it's high in plant sterols, it helps other plants adapt to stresses of life, extreme temperatures etc (high heat in desert, wind) The flowers, buds and fruit are edible. Tastes better when steamed. Root saponins are toxic to small animals. Helps establish a correct balance of intestinal flora (probiotics) in the gut and colon. Yucca is also somewhat of a laxative. Flower stalks are commonly roasted and eaten like sugarcane or peeled, boiled and eaten like asparagus. Yucca fruit is a bittersweet mass of juicy flesh that can be eaten raw or cooked.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Yucca

 

a genus of tree-like evergreen plants of the family Agavaceae. The stems sometimes reach a height of 12 m; they are capable of secondary thickening, reaching a diameter of 30 cm. The sword-shaped, tough leaves are frequently greater than 1 m long; they form a ring around the stem or a basal rosette. The campanulate flowers are in groups of as many as 300 in large pyramidal terminal panicles measuring 0.2–5 m high. Pollination is by moths of the genus Pronuda. The fruit is a dry capsule, or it is succulent and indehiscent. In some species the fruit is edible.

There are about 40 species, distributed primarily in arid regions of Central America and southern North America. The leaves of the Adam’s needle (Y. filamentosa), the Spanish dagger (Y. gloriosa), and other species yield fiber used for making bagging, rope, and basketry. Yuccas are cultivated as ornamentals in the USSR (the Crimea and the Caucasus).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

yucca

of New Mexico. [Flower Symbolism: Golenpaul, 638]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

yucca

any of several plants of the genus Yucca, of tropical and subtropical America, having stiff lancelike leaves and spikes of white flowers: family Agaraceae

Yugoslav

, Jugoslav
1. (formerly) a native, inhabitant, or citizen of Yugoslavia (sense 1 or 2)
2. (not in technical use) another name for Serbo-Croat (the language)
3. (formerly) of, relating to, or characteristic of Yugoslavia (sense 1 or 2) or its people
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Sean Lamb, Chipping Norton, Oxon, says: If the forecast is bad we protect our yucca with sacking and put a layer of plastic over that if snow's due.
The 74-year-old is amazed this yucca he has had for eight years has produced five flowers.
Once she had singled out yucca as a potential fiber, she realized that there were several types of yucca plants.
To obtain yucca fibers, Rachel soaked yucca leaves in water until they started to rot.
The giant, or spineless, yucca is a fine specimen for the hallway or a large room, and needs a deep, well-drained container.
Many recent studies addressing evolutionary stability of mutualism have focused on the interactions between pollinating seed-parasites and their host plants, such as those between yuccas and yucca moths and figs and fig wasps (Bull and Rice 1991, Bronstein 1992, Pellmyr and Huth 1994, West and Herre 1994, Nefdt and Compton 1996, Ziv and Bronstein 1996, Anstett et al.
HAVE you got a yucca? If so, Alan Bachelor needs your leaves.
Variation in the costs and benefits of mutualism: the interaction between yuccas and yucca moths.
A ADRIENNE SAYS: The stiff and spiky sword-shaped foliage of yucca and phormiums are easy and will add essential drama and architectural qualities to the garden.
Q I have a nice yucca plant which has flowered for the first time.
Yucca queretaroensis Pina es una especie endemica del centro de Mexico que se encuentra sujeta a proteccion especial (Pr) de acuerdo con la Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 (Anonimo, 2010).
When an egg hatches, the developing larva eats about 20 of the yucca flower's 300 seeds.