soaptree yucca Agavaceae Yucca
elata (Engelm.) Engelm. symbol: YUEL
Leaf: Evergreen, flexible and narrowly strap-like, up to 3 feet long and 1/2 inch wide, yellow-green on both surfaces, the leaf margins fibrous, tips sharp pointed.
Flower: Bell-shaped, 1 1/2 inch long, creamy white to yellow-green, occur at the growing tips in upright clusters that approach 7 feet tall, branched only near the tip of the cluster, appearing early summer.
Fruit: Dry capsules borne upright on the woody inflorescence, approximately 2 inches long, initially green and drying to brown, ripening in early autumn.
Bark: Gray-brown, initially covered with brown dead leaves, later becoming furrowed.
Form: Picturesque, usually unbranched cylidrical small trees that grow in clumps, with tufts of leaves at the tips, to 20 feet.
Looks like: banana yucca - Joshua tree - Mojave yucca - Torrey's yucca
Additional Range Information: Yucca elata is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting soaptree yucca.
External Links: USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson