Lechuguilla is one of the smallest members of the Agave family and one of the most important plants in the Lower Pecos. Its tough fibers were the preferred material for making sandals, mats, baskets, and many other items. Its heart or leaf base was a major carbohydrate source. Large quantities of lechuguilla hearts were baked in earth ovens. Recent work has shown that lechuguilla yields more food than the same amount of sotol, but that both plants require a tremendous amount of labor for the return in calories. In other words, people must have eaten these plants only when they had no other choice. Photo from ANRA-NPS Archives at TARL.
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