Samuela carnerosana Trel.
Common Name: Palma Samandoca
Yucca carnerosana is an evergreen, succulent, rosette-forming perennial plant with leaves that can be 60 - 110cm long and 6 - 8cm wide. The plant gradually develops a usually unbranched trunk that can be 1.5 - 6 metres long and 15 - 25cm in diameter[
The plant is sometimes harvested on a commercial scale for the fibres obtained from the leaves[
Yucca carnerosana has a wide range, is abundant and even though there are threats in parts of its range, especially from the expansion of cattle and nomadic ranching of goats, the overall population is stable and it occurs within protected areas. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2020)[
Southwest N. America - extreme south New Mexico, far west of Texas and south through the Chihuahuan Desert to central Mexico
Rocky slopes, primarily in shallow calcareous soils and rocks at the base of limestone mountains growing in xerophytic scrubs, pinyon pine and oak forests.; at elevations from 800 - 2,800 metres[
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Plants can live for around 50 - 75 years.
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. The fruit, known as dátiles or chevitos, are often gathered from the wild and eaten. They grow along the upper half of the flowering stem and are frequently detached from the stalk and consumed in the field by farm workers during the work day, whilst in the kitchen the pale green fruits are used in combination with different vegetables to make salads, or they are mixed and cooked with staple foods such as beans and tortillas[
A durable fibre known as 'ixtle', and used for making sacking, brushes, etc is obtained from the leaves[
]. The exterior leaves of the rosette are usually hard and so the younger, more tender leaves are used[
Although plastic fibres have, to a large extent, replacd the use of plant fibres, the unique properties of ixtle fibre, particularly its durability, resiliency, texture, and water absorbency, mean that it is still an important article of international trade. It is particularly suitable for a range of applications including power-driven cylinder brushes, for cleaning and buffing purposes in steel mills and metal fabricating plants, in rotary floor scrubbers and polishers etc, and it is used in its pure state, or in combination with horsehair, in floor sweeps, counter dusters, calcimine brushes, roofing brushes, pastry brushes, and to some degree in scrub and bowl brushes[
The leaves are rich in sapogenins and the pulp obtained from them can be used as a soap substitute[
The trunk is traditionally used in constructing the walls and roofs of homesteads and also in making fences[