Palmilla (Yucca elata) belongs to Agavaceae (the Agave family). It is a small evergreen tree that is native to southwestern North America, from Arizona to New Mexico, western Texas and northern Mexico. This tree grows primarily in deserts and can reach about 4.5 m in height. The leaves are very narrow, 30-90 cm long and less than 1.5 cm wide, flexible, not toothed but sharp-pointed, and bearing fine fibers along their whittish margins. The white, bell-shaped flowers bloom in a panicle at the apex of the stem. The young stems and roots contain large quantities of soapy saponins, and they were commonly used as a substitute for soap and shampoo by the native Americans.