Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Sotol

Dasylirion
A genus of plants related to the Yuccas. All prefer sandy, well drained soil.

Dasylirion acrotrichum ( Great Desert Spoon )
A very rare, slow growing, Yucca-like evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 10 x 7 ( up to 20 including flower spike ) feet, that is native to the Chihuahuan Desert in northern and central Mexico.
The grass-like narrow leaves, up to 40 x 0.4 inches in size, are blue-green. The leaves are edged in fibers and the leaf tips are very sharp.
The small white flowers are borne on a spike up to 15 feet tall. Plants may take up to 7 years or more to flower.
Hardy zones 9 to 10 ( tolerating 20 F ) in full sun on sandy, well drained soil.

Dasylirion berlandieri ( Berlandier Sotol )
A stunning, large yucca-like shrub, reaching forming a clump reaching a maximum size of 7 x 12 ( up to 15 in bloom ) feet in size, that is native to dry open pine-oak woods in high mountains of northeast Mexico. Some records include: 10 years - 7 x 4 feet.
The spine-edged, stiff, strap-shaped leaves, up to 64 x 0.7 inches in size, are powdery bright blue.
The creamy-white to yellow flowers are borne on a narrow, upright tall panicle. These plants do not die after blooming.
Hardy zones 7b to 10 ( reports of even colder ) in full sun on just about any very well drained soil. It is highly drought tolerant. It is adaptable to humid climates, even northern Florida if planted on sandy soil.

'Zaragoza'
Strikingly blue foliage.

Dasyliron cedrosanum ( Cedros Sotol )
A Yucca-like shrub, reaching a maximum size of 7 x 8 feet, that typically has 1 to 3 branched stems originating from a short stocky trunk. It is native to grasslands in the mountain highlands of northern Mexico. It can reach up to 3 x 4 feet in 10 years though is usually slower growing.
The stiff, twisted, linear leaves, up to 48 x 2 inches in size, are bright gray-blue to bright green. The leaf margins are armed with teeth that curve towards the leaf tip.
The small, pale yellow flowers, up to 0.2 inches wide, are borne abundantly on a narrow upright panicle atop a tall spike up to 12 feet high.
Hardy zones 7b to 10 in full sun on well drained soil. It is very drought tolerant and requires only 12 + inches of average yearly rainfall. It prefers a hot dry climate and does not do well in maritime regions.

Dasylirion glaucophyllum ( Blue Hidalgo Sotol )
A Yucca-like shrub, forming a clump reaching a maximum size of 7 x 9 ( rarely over 4 x 7 ) feet, that is native to Hidalgo in northern Mexico.
The stiff, straight, strap-shaped leaves, up to 54 x 1 inch in size, are powdery blue.
The flower spike up to 7 feet tall is composed of small white flowers that later fade to tan.
Hardy zones 7b to 10 ( possibly colder ) in full sun to partial shade on well drained soil. It is very drought tolerant.

Dasyliron leiophyllum ( Smooth Sotol )
A Yucca-like shrub, that reaches a maximum size of 6 x 6 ( rarely over 5 x 5 ) feet, and is native to New Mexico, western Texas and northeast Mexico.
The shiny blue-green leaves are up to 40 x 1.5 inches in size.
The white flowers are borne on a foot long panicle atop a spike, up to 13 feet high, during summer.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 in full sun on well drained soil. It is extremely heat and drought tolerant.

Dasylirion longissimum ( Mexican Grass Tree )
A native to the Chihuahuan Desert in northwest Mexico, it reaches a maximum size of 16 x 8 feet. It can form a clump up to 6 x 6 feet in 10 years, eventually very old plants may grow a trunk up to 10 feet in height.
The leaves are up to 6 feet x 0.2 inches in size. The leaves are not edged with spines unlike most Dasylirion.
The flower panicles reach a maximum height of 18 feet!
Hardy zones 8 to 10 in full sun on well drained soil.

* photo of unknown internet source


Dasylirion lucidum ( Rose Sotol )
A short-trunked, multiple crowned, yucca-like evergreen shrub, reaching up to 6.5 feet in height, that is native to high elevations in central Mexico.
The stiff narrow leaves are bright green. They are armed with deep red prickles.
The flower spikes reach up to 12 feet in height.
Hardy zones 7 to 10 in full sun on well drained soil. It is tolerant of coastal conditions.

Dasylirion miquihuanense ( Tree Sotol )
A native to the northeast Mexican mountains, that develops a massive trunk and reaches a maximum size of 8 x 6 feet, with smooth-margined, evergreen leaves, up to 48 x 2 inch in size. The foliage is mid-green.
Occasionally this plant may develop a trunk up to 15 feet in height.
The white flower spike reaches up to 6 feet in height.
Hardy north to zone 7 and very drought tolerant.
Hardy zones 7 to 9

Dasylirion quadrangulatum.
May be same as Dasylirion longissimum. A native to the northeast Mexican mountains, that reaches a maximum size of 6 x 10 ( 12 incl. flower spike ) feet, with smooth-margined, evergreen leaves, up to 50 x 0.5 inch in size. Occasionally this plant may develop a trunk up to 15 feet in height. The foliage is blue-green.
The white flower spike reaches up to 6 feet in height. Plants may take 7 or more years to bloom.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 in full sun to partial shade; it is very drought tolerant.

Dasylirion texanum ( Texas Sotol )
A native of Texas Hill Country, that reaches a maximum clump size of 3 x 10 feet, Older plants may grow a trunk reaching up to 1.5 feet high.
The evergreen leaves, up to 48 x 1.5 ( rarely over 36 ) inch in size, are gray-green to green.
The flower spike, up to 15 feet in height, includes a panicle up to 3 feet in length of creamy-white flowers.
Hardy zones 6 to 9, in cool, moist, partial shade or full sun in cooler climates on well drained soil. Texas Sotol is very drought tolerant. It thrives far outside its native range, including parking lot islands in northern Florida with no irrigation.

Dasylirion wheeleri ( Desert Spoon )
A native to Arizona to western Texas; to northern Mexico, that reaches a maximum size of 6 x 6 feet, with evergreen leaves, up to 36 x 1 inch in size. Older plants may grow a trunk up to 5 feet in height. The foliage is grayish-green.
The flower spike reaches up to 20 feet in height.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 in full sun to partial shade. It is very drought tolerant.

* photo taken by W.C. Barnes @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* historic archive photos

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