Photo by Lisa Morton
By Lisa Morton
Daggers are in bloom here so plan a full moon trip to Dagger Flat north of Panther Junction, in Big Bend National Park. A spectacular scenes in the Big Bend you must experience. The surface of the flowers is very shiny and reflective and the light of the moon makes it seem like the whole mass of blooms are glowing from within.
The flowers and fruit of yuccas are both edible. In fact, the bloom heads on two of my shorter yuccas are a sweet treat for deer or cattle.
Yucca root is used as both medicine and shampoo/soap. Medical uses include reducing inflammation, especially from ailments like rheumatoid arthritis and other joint pain. The tea is a blood purifier, to cleanse the liver and kidneys. The leaves are still used for various American Indian crafts and traditional items. The Yucca Moth is the primary pollinator, and birds nest in them and eat the bugs attracted to them.