Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Mexican Grass Tree
Dasylirion longissimum

Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Dasylirion (das-il-LIR-ee-on) (Info)
Species: longissimum (lon-JIS-ee-mum) (Info)

Synonym:Dasylirion longissimum var. treleasei

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

7 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

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:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
This plant is fire-retardant

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 38 photos.
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1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral smiln32 On May 19, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

The leaves radiate symmetrically out of a large woody trunk that can slowly but eventually grow 6 -15 feet tall. In the summer, a nine foot tall spike of small white flowers emerge from reddish buds. Plant in full sun to light shade.

Positive palmbob On Jul 9, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Dasylirion are closely related to Agaves and look like Nolina species. They slowly grow like a large clump of very stiff grass, eventually forming a trunk (after many many years). Native to Mexico and Arizona, these plants are incredibly drought tolerant. However, they grow faster if watered well (don't water the crown, though- rot easily). This species of Dasylirion is probably the most commonly grown in cultivation in the US. It looks a LOT like Xanthorea, the Australian grass tree (completely unrelated, though). Even the flower spikes look similar. These make great specimen plants for xeriscape gardens. Small plants are relatively inexpensive, but larger ones are a fortune. These make excellent potted specimens, and are often kept well trimmed exposing an ornamental symetrical spiral leaf-base pattern that never fails to attract comments. The leaves of this species are thin, quadrangular (one of the synonyms is quadrangularis) in cross section and long (the more shade it's in, the longer the leaves). The flowers are on tall stalks about 10'-15' above the plant, and the top 1/3-14 is the flowering section. Flowers are tan to cream in color, and if fertilized (think this takes multiple plants to fertilize these flowers- VERY attractive to bees, by the way) and, if successfully fertilized, will produce a colorful red-pink plume of tightly packed seeds where the flowers were earlier... this all happens in the fall.

Turns out all the photos of this plant on this page may be D quadrangulatum, not longissimum... but not 100% sure at this time.


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

Mesa, Arizona
Queen Creek, Arizona
Arroyo Grande, California
Brentwood, California
Carlsbad, California
Encino, California
Lake Elsinore, California
Reseda, California
San Marino, California
Santa Monica, California
Spring Valley, California
Tulare, California
Yorba Linda, California
Miami, Florida
Florence, South Carolina
El Paso, Texas
San Antonio, Texas

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