Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Chaparral Beargrass, Chaparral Bear Grass, Chaparral Nolina, Beargrass, Bear Grass
Nolina micrantha

Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Nolina (no-LEE-na) (Info)
Species: micrantha (my-KRANTH-uh) (Info)

Alpines and Rock Gardens

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
This plant is resistant to deer
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By htop
Thumbnail #1 of Nolina micrantha by htop


2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive kman_blue On Apr 23, 2010, kman_blue from (Zone 6b) wrote:

Actually, Nolina micrantha is mostly native to Eastern New Mexico and only found in a relatively small area of Texas just East of El Paso mostly in the Southern end of the Guadalupe Mountains which just barely cross the border from New Mexico. About 95% of its native range is in New Mexico and it is common in and around Carlsbad on up through Roswell and up to Santa Rosa and over to Tucumcari. US 285 in New Mexico runs through a good portion of its native range and it's easily observed along the highway as it is the most common Nolina species in most of those areas. It makes a great tough as nails xeriscape landscape plant and can take quite a bit of cold in the winter provided it is planted in very good draining soil. No problems in zone 6 winters. And obviously it can take a lot of heat and drought in the summer too!

Positive htop On Oct 6, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Chaparral Beargrass (Nolina micrantha) is a native plant endemic to Texas and can be found in the Trans-Pecos and Erwards Plateau Regions in well drained soils. Resembling a rounded clump of coarse-bladed grass, its numerous leaves are nearly semi-cylindrical with each blade having a lengthwise channel or groove. They have slightly rough feeling margins and are 30 to 50 inches long and less than half an inch wide. It can be distinguished from Nolina texana because it has a purplish to reddish toned inflorescence; whereas, Nolina texana has a white to greenish white inflorescence (can have light purplish tones). Nolina micrantha is also less full (less robust) then Nolina texana.

The plant should be kept as dry as possible during the winter and all of the old and brown parts of the leaves should be removed cutting the old leaves as near as possible to the base to prevent rot. Clean up around the Nolina in autumn which will help to keep the plant dry and avoid mouldy spots from forming between the base of the leaves.

Nolina micrantha may be used as a groundcover to decrease erosion on slopes and in cactus and rock gardens as well as xeriscapes and wildscapes.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Shawnee Mission, Kansas
San Antonio, Texas

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