Soaptree yuccas (Yucca elata), standing to about 20-feet tall, are a signature species of the desert grasslands in southern Arizona and southern New Mexico. In northern Arizona, southern Utah, and southeastern Nevada,soaptree yucca grows to about 10-feet tall including the flower stalk.
Soaptree Yucca generally are uncommon components of the Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub) life zone in the Grand Canyon region.
Family: Agave (Agavaceae).
Other Names: Whipple Yucca, Utah Yucca.
Plant Form: Upright yucca with narrow leaves.
Height: Including the flower stalk, to about 30 feet in southern areas. To about 10 feet in northern areas.
Trunk: Generally 6-8 inches diameter, to about 6 feet; covered with dead leaves; sometimes branched.
Leaves: Long (to about 30 inches), narrow, straight, U-shaped, pointed tip, loose threads on the margins, dark green. Live leaves clustered at the ends of the stem(s) in dense rosettes; dead leaves stay attached for years and cover the trunks.
Flowers: Creamy-white, waxy, bell shaped, to 2-inches long. Flowers on tall stalks usually emerging from stem tips. Blooms in the spring.