Yucca: a plant with an exotic name

In Italian it can also write icca, but its original name is Yucca. It is a plant from countries with dry tropical climate such as Mexico, Arizona, the Caribbean, and California. It belongs to the Agavaceae family, or perennial plants normally with absent or short, grassy growth, though no arboreal or arboreal species are lacking. Glory-like Yucca is generally used for domestic purposes to decorate and embellish homes, as its appearance is regal and composed. It is appreciated for its particular shape that is erected, thanks to woody and smooth stems, with few branches which grow leaves that are long, fleshy, rigid and pointed. Its color of a bright green decorates the environments, illuminating them and revitalizing them. Sometimes the green can be accompanied by white strips that make the plant even more special. In apartment can attain a decent size, reaching one meter in height, it limit greatly exceeded if its growth takes place outdoors, where it can easily reach even 10 meters. In the summer you can enjoy a lush flowering of the ear, which can often exceed the meter even in pots, white, cream or violet and composed of small bells.

How to grow it
Since it comes from hot areas, it is evident that its ideal outdoor habitat needs to favor a warm and dry climate, since sea areas are ideal. It does not like cold but it does not exclude that it can grow well in the regions of northern Italy, where it will have to be adequately protected from cold and especially from winter frosts. Exposure to be privileged is the sunny one with dry land, to avoid absolutely the stagnation of water. To make it healthy and luxuriant in the apartment, then inside the pots, it is essential to take care of it by scarce watering in winter and slightly more frequent in the summer. Because there are the most favorable conditions for its growth it is good to fertilize the soil seldom and with liquid nutrients. At home, the best placement requires abundant light and especially warmth. If it is necessary to have a rest, or even to place it in the garden or in the open, it is good to remember that this operation will have to take place in the spring, using universal soil. Pruning is usually not necessary, however, only between February and March, on secondary branches where it is good to leave at least three leaves. To ensure the well-being of the plant, it is essential to avoid the intervention on the main trunks.

Diseases and treatments
I nemici più agguerriti e difficili da combattere della Yucca sono la cocciniglia e il botrytis che è un fungo. La cocciniglia è un parassita largamente diffuso, che può attaccare le foglie o le radici e che generalmente può essere individuato e riconosciuto per via delle macchie nere che provoca sulle foglie. Le cause scatenanti i parassiti sono varie come scarsa umidità o luminosità, eccessive annaffiature. Essi possono essere combattuti mediante l'impiego di comuni antiparassitari o con rimedi naturali. Tra i più efficaci si annovera il trattamento delle foglie mediante batuffoli di cotone imbevuti di sapone e acqua o alcool. Importante sciacquare il fogliame al termine.

Certainly many do not know that Yucca is known not only for ornamental use, but also because it is edible. In reality, the food parts are only the roots, as this plant is a tuber. The latter is similar to potato and how this is rich in starch and poor in protein. The absence of gluten makes it a good food also suitable for celiac diseases. The tuber must be consumed after cooking, often used as thickener in both soups and soups, but especially in pastry. The manioc flour comes from this root which has a neutral flavor, with a faint frosty and spicy recall and a distant perception of almond. Also from the leaves of Yucca is extracted a product validly used for the well-being of the body, having important anti-inflammatory, draining, purifying effects as well as effective facial cleanser.


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