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Desert Spoon, Desert Sotol, Wheeler Sotol, Grey Sotol
Dasylirion wheeleri


Desert spoon has a dense rosette of graceful, attractive blue-green leaves and a short, woody trunk. It grows in limestone or granite hillsides in the Trans-Pecos and adjacent Mexico, north to New Mexico and Arizona. Often confused with yuccas, sotols have long slender leaves that arch gracefully from a central trunk, making a symmetrical, rounded form. The leaves have sharp spines or teeth along their margins, and are spoon-like at the base, giving the genus the common name of "desert spoon". Extremely tolerant of drought, heat, and soil type, they must have well-drained soil and full sun to thrive. From May to August they have tall, dramatic flowering stalks, with male and female flowers on separate plants. One of the most ornamental of all desert plants, dasylirions are striking in the landscape or in large pots. Because of their wicked spines, they must be planted away from pedestrian areas unless they are used for security plantings. An extremely useful plant to man, sotol has been used to make temporary structures, corrals, roofs, baskets, mats, ropes, liquor ("sotol"), cattle feed during drought, and food for humans.

Plant Habit or Use: medium shrub

Exposure: sun
partial sun

Flower Color: creamy white or greenish

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: 3-winged shell

Height: to 5 feet/ flower 9 to 15 feet

Width: to 6 feet

Plant Character: evergreen

Heat Tolerance: very high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: adaptable

USDA Hardiness Zone:

Additional Comments:

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