Dasylirion wheeleri S.Watson ex Rothr.
Desert Spoon, Spoon Yucca, Spoon Flower, Common Sotol, Blue Sotol, Grey Desert Spoon
Dasylirion wheeleri var. wheeleri
Dasylirion wheeleri is a long-lived plant with blue-gray strap-shaped leaves on a short, stout trunk that can rise to 6 feet (1.8 m). The leaves are narrow, up to 3 feet (90 cm) long, with sharp, serrated margins and a spoon-shaped base that gives the plant one of its common names. These leaf bases remain on the trunk giving it a rough appearance. Flowering occurs only every few years with tiny flowers on stout spikes up to 15 feet (4.5 m) tall from the center of the leaf rosette in early summer. This plant is a dioecious plant bearing flowers of one sex or the other. The color of the flower determines the gender of the plant, mainly being white-colored for males and purple-pink for females. The rosette branches at the base of the inflorescence after flowering.
USDA hardiness zone 7a to 10b: from 0 °F (−17.8 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Dasylirions are slow-growing, carefree, and durable, drought-tolerant plants. However, they grow faster if watered well (don't water the crown, though they rot easily). They should be placed in a sunny, well-drained area with additional summer water in dry climates in the garden.
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.
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