Economic Botany

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 376-390

First online:

Ethnobotany ofAgave lecheguilla andYucca carnerosana in Mexico’s Zona ixtlera

  • Sam SheldonAffiliated withSt. Bonaventura University

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In the drylands of northcentral Mexico campesinos known as ixtleros or talladores gather ixtle, a hard fiber derived from the uncultivated plants lechuguilla (Agave lecheguilla Torr.), and palma samandoca (Yucca carnerosana [Trel.] McKelv.). Ixtleros sell most of the fiber they collect, and the region in which ixtle is currently exploited for commercial purposes is called the Zona Ixtlera. Unsold fiber is converted into rope and brushes in ixtlero communities and used for a variety of purposes. Various parts of lechuguilla and palma samandoca are also employed to meet local construction, cleansing, and dietary needs.