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Sand Sacahuiste
Nolina arenicola

Agavaceae, Nolinaceae, Liliaceae

Deep sandy soils in brushlands and dunes in the western areas of the Trans-Pecos provide habitat for the sand sacahuiste, which resembles a clump of thick, coarse-bladed grass. It is endemic (native to only a particular area) to Culberson County and likely elsewhere. Its numerous smooth-margined leaves measuring 4 feet long by 1/2 inch wide may be flat, or concave on one side and convex on the other. It is claimed that some plants produce purplish tinged flowers. In a landscape sand sacahiuste could be spaced on 3- to 5-foot centers as a ground cover or to hold rocky slopes. Fibers from the long leaves or the entire leaves were used by Native Americans to weave baskets and mats. Experts believe that the Trans-Pecos Nolinas require additional study of their ecology, exact distribution and taxonomy.

Plant Habit or Use: groundcover
small shrub

Exposure: sun
partial sun

Flower Color: white; creamy white to greenish white

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: inflated capsule

Height: 4 feet

Width: 3 to 4 feet

Plant Character: evergreen

Heat Tolerance: very high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: alkaline

USDA Hardiness Zone:

Additional Comments: Nolinas are polygamo-dioecious, that is: they usually have male and female flowers on separate plants, but each plant also has a few perfect flowers (male and female flower parts on one flower).

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