This cold hardy yucca usually occurs as a single, stem-less plant. The narrow, spine-tipped leaves are up to 30” in. long and occur in an open cluster which is often wider than the leaves are high. The flowering stem is up to 40” in. tall and bears large, pendant, fleshy, white flowers with a red-purple tinge
Most yuccas have dry hard fruits, but the fruits of banana yucca are fleshy and succulent. They look roughly like short fat green bananas, thus the name. These fruits were a traditional food of the Apache and Navajo. They were prepared by roasting or baking, stripping out the seeds, pounding the remaining flesh into a pulp, forming the pulp into flat cakes, and sun-drying them for later use. Flowers are edible too. The resulting product is said to be nutritious, sweet, and delicious.
Besides food, yuccas have many other traditional uses. The leaf blades can be woven into baskets, used to make brushes, or with the fleshy leaf tissue removed the remaining stiff fibers can be made into a combination needle and thread. The roots are prized as a natural soap. Zone 4-10