"One of the most important aspects of the Yucca is that the roots contain the compound saponin, a natural soap source."
January 19, 1925
On this day, The Santa Fe New Mexican published an article called “Yucca Too Much," Like a Soap Ad; Wants Cosmos For State Flower.
The article featured the opinion of a woman who said,
I object to the yucca as [the State Flower] and want to correct the statement that the school children chose it because they really chose the cactus.
Personally, I suggest the cosmos, now grown all over America because years ago, an old Spanish family In Albuquerque brought some seed from Spain, which was afterward sent east, propagated, and distributed all over the country.
The cosmos grows everywhere in New Mexico profusely and, so far as I know, has [not] been appropriated as a state flower by [any] other states.
Today, the New Mexico State Flower remains the Yucca Flower.
As hardy plants that thrive under trying conditions, Yuccas are a common sight across the lower elevations in New Mexico. The Soaptree Yucca (Yucca elata) is the most prevalent.
As members of the Agavaceae ("Ah-gah-VAY-see-ee") Family, Yuccas are commonly known as Spanish bayonet, Adam's-needle, and soapweed.
A valuable plant to many native tribes of the American Southwest, all parts of the Yucca plant were used.
The pointy, sharp leaves were stripped into fibers for weaving.
The Apaches enjoyed eating the edible flower stalks and blooms.
One of the most important aspects of the Yucca is that the roots contain the compound saponin, a natural soap source.
In addition to the Yucca, there are several saponins or “soap plants” like the Horse Chestnut, the Soap Lily, the Soapwort, and the fruit of the Buffaloberry.
The New Mexico State Legislature passed legislation making the Yucca the official State Flower on March 14, 1927.