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Item ID: 32
Family: Agavaceae
Genus: Dasylirion
Species: wheeleri
Common Name: Sotol, Desert Spoon
Habitat: Widely distributed in grasslands, pine, juniper and oak woodlands from 3,000 to 6,000 feet.
Range: Found in south and southeastern Arizona, southern New Mexico, western Texas and extends south into Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico.
Care: Cultivated plants can be easily found at most garden centers around Tucson and are easily transplanted. This plant is cold hardy to around 0 degrees farenheit and is quite tolerant of extreme heat and full sun. It is also tolerant of a more shady location in the garden and can be watered rather frequently although this is seldom needed.
Propagation: Propagated by seed.
Size: Bushy single stem plants may exceed 5 feet in height and 4 feet wide.
Shape: Rosette
Flowers: Flowers appear from May through August and the sandy, light beige clusters are not typically attractive.
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Vonn Watkins 2003

This is an attractive, very hardy plant that has many prickly edged linear grayish blue/green leaves. It is long living under most desert conditions and some plants will branch to form very large specimens although this is not often seen.

Author Comments
Dasylirion wheeleri is used more and more as a cultivated garden plant and can be seen in many areas throughout Arizona and other states. It has been used as food, cattle feed and in the production of a distilled beverage known as "Sotol." In some areas the leaves have been used to make baskets, mats and other items of daily use.

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