Uncategorized Adams Needle, American Indians, Archaeology, Cord, Fish Weirs, Florida, Florida Archaeology, Florida Archaeology Month, Florida Archaeology Month 2011, Florida History, Florida Public Archaeology Network, Native People, Native Plants, Natural Fibers, Nets, Rope, Saponins, Soap, Textiles, Yucca, Yucca filamentosa No Comments
Description: Perennial to 9 ft. in flower. Leaves in a rosette, stiff, spine tipped, oblong to lance shaped, with twisting, fraying
fibers along margins. Flowers whitish green bells on smooth, branched stalks.
American Indians used roots in a compress for sprains, sores, and skin diseases. A root wash may also have been used for its soaping action. The roots of most yucca species, including filamentosa contain saponins. These compounds produce long lasting soaping action and have been used in the manufacture of soaps and shampoos, both commercially and traditionally. Today you can purchase soap that is made from yucca in stores or online.
The saponins contained in Yucca filamentosa are toxic to lower life forms. Pounded roots may have been applied to fish weirs to stupefy fish allowing for easy harvest.
The leaf of Adams needle has been valued by American Indians as a source of strong fibers for centuries. This fiber is yielded through a process of boiling the leaf until reduced to a pulpy consistency. Excess matter can then be scraped away yielding abundant strong fibers. These fibers can be used to craft textiles, cord, rope, nets, and so on.