Stop 7: You are now on Tsankawi mesa. Even though you have climbed, you are still in the Piñon-Juniper Woodland. You can see both trees in great numbers on the mesa. You can also spot the sharp-edged leaves of a banana yucca (yucca baccata), forming a rosette at the base of the plant. In early summer, a stalk of soft creamy white flowers may arise from this otherwise hostile-looking plant. Yuccas were very important to the Ancestral Pueblo people. Almost all parts of the plant are edible including the flowers, the fruits, and the roots. Soap is made from the roots and the thorns at the end of each waxy leaf make excellent needles for the thready fibers pulled from the leaves.
Last updated: January 15, 2022