Yucca plants are usually associated with their native arid environments, but they actually grow as far North as Alberta Canada, and into the semi-tropical and temperate areas of North America. The ability to find these plants all over the continent makes them ideal for survival since you are likely to come in contact with them in the wilderness. In addition to their widespread proliferation, they also have multiple uses for the wilderness survivor. Here are some ways that you can make use of Yucca if you find some in the wilderness.
When Yucca flower stalks die, they remain standing for long periods and dry out in place on the plant. The dried flower stalks from a Yucca plant can be used in fire starting. Larger stalks can be used with a saw or plow method, and smaller stalks can be used as a hand-drill to start a friction fire.
The leaves can be used to make tough cordage. They can be peeled with the grain into small strips that can be wrapped or braided into cordage that is as strong as any bushcraft cordage. The leaves have a sharp thorn on their tips, which can make harvesting difficult, but it can also provide a great “needle and thread” from natural material for hasty repairs to your clothing or gear.
Yucca flowers, and the young stalks prior to becoming too hard and fibrous, are edible. They can provide a valuable source of necessary, and difficult to come by, carbohydrates. The carbohydrates will be more easily broken down by your body if you cook the blossoms. They can be placed on coals whole, and covered in ashes, or if equipment and utensils are available they can be sliced and cooked in a pan or a pot until they have slightly browned.
The wider a range, and more uses a plant has, the better it is for survival. Yucca delivers on both of these points in a big way.
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