The soapweed Yucca is a very cold hardy yucca that is native to central North America, from Canada to the mid-western United States and Mexico. It has long. slender leaves that form a globose rosette and a central, woody stalk. The leaves are blue-green and they have white fibers on the margins. The plants will produce multiple stalks and form large colonies of spiky clusters. The soapweed yucca is a member of the Agave family, whose members are usually from tropical or very hot dry regions so this species is very unusual in that it grows in very cold areas of North America. Leaves are up to 2 feet long. Large, white flowers are produced in spikes that are up to 3 feet tall. Fruits are brown, oblong capsules with black seeds. Yucca glauca was a traditional native American medicinal plant. The seed pods are edible. The roots contain saponins and were used to make soap. The leaves were used to make brushes, ropes and mats. The soapweed yucca is a good plant for xeriscaping and for a hardy, tropical or desert element in northern gardens. Hardy in zones 4-10.
Sowing: To soften the hard coating on these seeds, soak them in warm water overnight the day before planting. Sow the seed in early spring, planting just below the surface of the soil. Keep the soil lightly moist until germination.
Growing: Water seedlings several times as they become established. Mature plants prefer well-drained, rocky, dry soil and do not need watering. In excessively rich or moist soil, the plant will droop and become very limp. Remove dead leaves either in late fall or early spring, keeping in mind that gloves may be necessary for protection. This plant grows rather slowly, usually beginning to flower near its fifth year of growth.