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Yucca - Plant of the week #5

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posted on May, 3 2011 @ 01:45 AM
Edible flowers
Leaves make strong cordage
Weaving materials
Mashed root for soap
Stalk for friction fire making
Root used as fish poison

One of the most important skills in survival is the ability to make cordage. Whether it's string for making traps, ropes for hauling or dental floss so that your teeth don't rot out, the uses for cordage are as endless as they are vital. Plants capable of producing strong fibers are a valuable asset and learning to recognize them gives you one more advantage if the SHTF.

Many will recognize Yucca as it's often planted around Mexican restaurants and looks like a miniature version of it's cousin, the Agave from which Tequila is fermented. Yucca filamentosa or bear grass can be identified by the cluster of dark green dagger-shaped leaves 1' -2 ' long sprouting all directions from central point near the ground.

Plant of the week #5 Yucca filamentosa

During the summer a long, green flower spike 3'-5' tall will shoot up from the center of the plant at the top of which large, waxy white flowers will sprout. After Fall, the flower stalk will turn woody and brown. Though prone to being somewhat crooked, a long straight section of the yucca stalk is an excellent material for creating hand drill fires.
In fact, yucca is one of the few plants that you can create an entire friction fire set out of while only using a single plant.

To Make cordage begin by laying a leaf on a piece of wood and gently pounding the fibers apart using another piece of wood, working from end to end. Before you do this however, soak the leaves in water for a few hours to soften them. Once you have the fibers separated you can then twist and wrap them to make cordage.

Native Americans used the root both as a poultice for bruises and sprains, but spread judiciously upon a small body of water would stupefy the fish, bringing them to the surface. The fish would still be edible after using this method.

Soap and shampoo are 2 things difficult to create in survival situations. The root of the Yucca can be dug up, peeled and mashed in water to make soap and shampoo. It should be thoroughly rinsed off after use as some people have a sensitivity to the saponins (chemical which makes the soap) in the plant.

Yucca leaves are also very useful for weaving strong mats and baskets or even a
shelter cover.

Don't be surprised to find Yucca growing deep in the woods. It was a valued ornamental and often remains growing near old homesteads that have long since decayed. Everything that was planted on small farms was useful to people and can be for you as well should the need arise.

The Plant of the week is an ongoing series that you can hear on the All Things Survival Radio Show Thursday nights at 8pm EST at

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 02:06 AM
I planted some in my backyard and it got big several years ago. I never knew it had so many other uses. When I was a little kid, my parents had some that grew about 10 to 12 feet high. It was a very impressive ornamental plant I thought. You were careful around it or you could easily get cut or impaled on the sharp stiff leaves.

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 02:27 AM
Lots of those here in arizona,many more agave though,and much more tequila!

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 03:00 AM
Where i live we have the

Yucca schidigera

Mojave yucca
Spanish dagger

For tipping traps it would be great

The tip of each leaf has a small point that breaks off.

Got one in my leg years ago riding a motorcycle through the desert and had problems getting that tip out for two months.

Finely one day draining the infection out came the tip and the wound healed after that.

Get 4 or 5 in someones leg and they would be down for a while.

The fruit and seeds are eatable.

The juice is sold commercially

The juice is high carb and sodium
good for desert survival.
Total Carbohydrate 45.26% Sodium 105.00 MGMS
Total Sugars 22.35%
we also have the Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia)

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 09:25 AM
Back in the day we Native American used to strip the long fibers from the leaves and sew with them...
as a side note a fishhook cactus spine makes a great sewing needle...

posted on May, 4 2011 @ 08:00 AM
reply to post by Asktheanimals
Just dropped in to star and flag this thread.

Hats off to asktheanimals, this subject should be on the forefront of any survivalists worries. We see so many things written about what weapons you should choose for a SHTF moment, but we are far more likely to die of:

1. Exposure
2. Thirst
3. Hunger
In that order.

Plants will provide a person with shelter, fire and food to keep those things from happening. Yucca stands out as it provides all the materials needed for starting a fire.

posted on May, 4 2011 @ 09:55 AM
reply to post by butcherguy

Thanks Butcherguy.
Plants are key to survival so if people are serious about it they need to learn a few basic plants that can provide food, medicine, fire, shelter and tools.
That's why I'm posting these as Plant of the Week,
I'm taking the most common, most easily recognized and most useful plants and hoping people will take the time to learn them. There's no need to learn them all by any means.

Zero plant knowledge means zero chance of surviving long term.
That's reality and I apologize if Botany bored anyone in school.
It's actually a fascinating subject and not that difficult to learn (I flunked 2 foreign languages and chemistry!)
If I can learn it, anyone can

posted on May, 4 2011 @ 09:58 AM
I was just about to throw mine out.
It's looked dead for two years but lo and behold, a healthy baby's appeared!
Happy Suspiria is happy.

edit on 4-5-2011 by Suspiria because: (no reason given)

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