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Dasylirion longissimum – Mexican Grass Tree

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Scientific Name

Dasylirion longissimum Lem.

Common Names

Mexican Grass Tree

Synonyms

Dasylirion longissimum var. longissimum

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Nolinoideae
Genus: Dasylirion

Description

Dasylirion longissimum is a large, succulent plant with glaucous-green, stiff, unarmed, up to 6 feet (1.8 m) long, grass-like leaves. The leaves radiate symmetrically out of a large woody trunk that can slowly but eventually grow up to 15 feet (4.5 m) tall. In the summer, a 9 foot (2.7 m) tall spike of small white flowers emerge from reddish buds.

Photo via derbez.fr

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 8b to 10b: from 15 °F (−9.4 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Dasylirions are slow growing, carefree and durable, drought tolerant plant. However, they grow faster if watered well (don't water the crown, though they rot easily). In the garden they should be placed in a sunny, well-drained area with additional summer water in dry climates.

These make great specimen plants for xeriscape gardens and blend well in either tropical or arid gardens. Small plants are relatively inexpensive, but larger ones are a fortune. These make excellent potted specimens, and their symmetrical form provides a striking focal point.

They thrive best in full sun, but can be grown with some shade and humidity. Plant in very fast draining soil and provide little or no water in winter. Treat like a succulent. Best where winter temperatures stay above 50°F (10°C), but can take some periods of frost. Plants in containers can be moved inside during longer cold spells… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Dasylirion

Origin

Native to the Chihuahuan Desert and other xeric habitats in Northeastern Mexico.

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