The yucca plant can be found throughout much of the United States, but it’s most plentiful in the southwest. If you live in the region, you’ve almost certainly seen it. Its pointed green leaves, tall stalks, and towering clusters of white flowers are easy to recognize, even for casual hikers and backpackers.

Eating yucca plant wild edible food desert survival 3

As we’ve mentioned in the past, yucca provides a wide array of survival resources, including cordage, tinder, soap, and even an extract that can be used to stun fish. Despite how its name might sound, yucca is also a source of several tasty wild edibles. During the spring, the blossoms and stalks are ripe and ready to eat.

Although yucca blossoms can be eaten raw, they can also be cooked to soften the texture and improve flavor. The plant’s young green stalks should be cooked before eating, but this is as simple as roasting them directly on hot coals. Always a good source of info on survival in the southwest, YouTuber Bob Hansler recently posted a video that shows how to harvest and prepare yucca stalks and blossoms:

Hansler describes the flavor of the cooked petals to be relatively mild like cabbage or spinach, picking up the taste of the butter they were cooked in. As for the stalk, he says it’s surprisingly sweet, much like sweet potato or butternut squash. Whether you’re in a true survival situation or simply looking to supplement the food you already have in the backcountry, yucca is a great resource.

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