Plant - summer
Village of Oak Creek, S of Sedona
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants
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Plant - spring
Village of Oak Creek, S of Sedona
Plant Image
Village of Oak Creek, S of Sedona
Plant Description

Origin: Native
General Description: Evergreen. A single or multiple branched trunk that bears grass-like leaves growing in clumps. Resembles a palm tree; roots are used to make shampoos and wash soaps, thus the names palmilla and soaptree. Found on desert hill slopes, grasslands and dry washes.
Height: 15 feet     Width: 10 feet


Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands
Elevation: 1500 - 6000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White   Shape: Bell-shaped in elongated clusters     Tubular: N   Flowering Period: May - Jul
Description: Bell-shaped, 1 to 1-1/2 inches long and creamy white to yellow-green. Borne in a cluster on a leafless stalk 3 to 17 feet high. Branched only near the tip of the cluster.

Leaf Characteristics

Leaf Color: Yellowish-green   Type: Other   Shape: Other   Margin: Other   Attachment: Other   Hairs: N
Description: Flexible, commonly straight, narrow, up to 3 feet long and 1/2 inch wide and found in symmetrical radiating clusters. Fibers curl from the white margins. Tips are sharp pointed. Old leaves remain on the trunk as a straw-colored thatch.
Spines: Y

Fruit Characteristics

Color: Green to brown   Type: Capsule   Description: Dry, 3 celled, cylindrical capsules found upright on the woody inflorescence. 1-1/2 to 3 inches in length. Initially green and then drying to brown. Ripens in early autumn. Has many flat, thin black seeds in the capsule.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 3.1  
Last Updated: June 15, 2013  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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