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Why are Yucca Plants Found in Cemeteries?

  The Yucca Plant is a spinney, cactus-like plant that is very hard to eradicate, and commonly found in older cemeteries.   Referred to as the eternity plant, Yucca Plants can live for hundreds of years.  These plants were usually planted by gravestones or along the boundary lines.  When abandoned and overgrown cemeteries are cleaned up, these plants are mistakenly mowed over and killed off.  In my opinion, this is a mistake.  If Yucca Plants are found sporadically throughout an overgrown cemetery, they may be marking lost graves.  If the headstone is broken, buried, or missing, a Yucca Plant could be the only way to identify the location of an unmarked grave.  If there is a Yucca Plant present, sometimes simple prodding of the surrounding soil can locate a buried headstone.

   Yucca Plants where often used to symbolize motherhood, eternity, mourning, and to ward off evil spirits.  Yucca Plants are also said to keep restless spirits in their graves.  Yucca Plants are very easy to cultivate.  All you have to do is transplant a small shoot from an existing Yucca Plant that has a small piece of root attached.  With no care what so ever, a new Yucca Plant will start to sprout.  Yucca plants are common in older African American and slave cemeteries.  Since headstones are expensive and Yucca Plants very resilient.   Yucca Plants were commonly planted to mark these graves sites.

   Next time you are looking for an abandoned cemetery or lost grave, the existence of Yucca Plants could be a plausible sign that you have found an abandoned cemetery.

 

 

 


 

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