Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Desert Spoon, Blue Sotol
Dasylirion wheeleri

Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Dasylirion (das-il-LIR-ee-on) (Info)
Species: wheeleri (WHEE-ler-ee) (Info)

Synonym:Dasylirion wheeleri var. wislizeni

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

9 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

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)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 58 photos.
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7 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive 1077011947 On Dec 24, 2014, 1077011947 from Greer, SC wrote: this plant. It is the centerpiece of my Xeric bed with Agave, hesperaloe, yucca, iceplant, opuntia, Echeveria 'Topsy Turvy' and others. Beautiful!

Positive JulioABQ On May 29, 2012, JulioABQ from Albuquerque, NM wrote:

This plant does very well in the high desert where winter temperatures can dip to the low single digits and even negative numbers and at the same time summer temperatures can reach innthe 100's with constant droughts. Here in Albuquerque, NM they are planted all over and do very well.

Neutral Xenomorf On Dec 1, 2006, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

I've seen these growing in the wild in Tonto Basin, AZ; Oracle AZ; and on the West Ruby Road Trail in Arizona (South of Tucson), off of Interstate 19 through to Ruby, AZ and on to Arivaca, AZ.

Positive thistlesifter On Sep 2, 2006, thistlesifter from Vista, CA wrote:

This specimen was grown from tiny seedling for over 20 years in this location. It has flowered once before and will split now to 4 heads over time. It splits upon each flowering. Eventually under hard conditions, it should form a trunk. It is a beautiful light blue though not so visible in the attached photo.

Easy care in the right location. It is a valuable addition to almost any garden that has the space to accommodate it.


Positive angele On May 8, 2005, angele wrote:

A favorite desert plant, I like it so much I purchased one for my yard.

Positive melody On Jan 31, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

This species can be treated in the same manner as agaves to produce food and liquor (sotol) The tough leaves can be woven into mats and baskets and used for thatching.

The spoon like base is often used in dried flower arrangements.

It's range is Southern AZ, east to West TX , and also into Northern Mexico.

Positive cacti_lover On Jan 20, 2005, cacti_lover from Henderson, NV (Zone 9b) wrote:

This plant is widely planted here in Henderson and it does very well. Very drought tollerant and good for xeriscaping. The leaves are indeed dangerous and should be planted away from foot traffic. This plant looks very handsome when the older lower leaves are cut off leaving the base bare. It resembles a pineapple. The bell-shaped white flowers are actually very small, but are clustered on a tall inflorescence that grows 8'-12' tall.

Positive palmbob On Jul 25, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This species of Dasylirion is a little more commonly grown in southern California (U.S.) as specimen plants or additions to xeriscapes. It is called the Desert Spoon since its leaves are flat and slightly cupped, holding water at its spoon shaped base where it attaches to the trunk (It has to be removed to see this shape).

Unlike the other commonly grown species, D longissimus (quadrangularis), the leaves on this species are viciously spiny and can easily cause bleeding if just brushed up against. One of the reasons Dasylirions are used in landscaping is their unique geometically perfect globoid lumps with hundreds of perfectly arranged leaves coming out in all directions. Some D wheeleri have green leaves, but the more commonly planted specimens have blue-silver leaves that make a great look in a garden with lots of green. The blue-silver plants also have a slight twist to their leaves, and they end in little brown tufts. Very old plants start to clump and look a bit messy. They produce enormous flowers that tower over the plant, reminiscent of Agaves.


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

Arivaca, Arizona
Oracle, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports)
Rio Rico, Arizona
Tonto Basin, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Acton, California
Carmichael, California
Clayton, California
Encino, California
Fairfield, California
Pittsburg, California
Reseda, California
San Diego, California
San Leandro, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Visalia, California
Vista, California
Trout, Louisiana
Henderson, Nevada
Albuquerque, New Mexico (3 reports)
Elephant Butte, New Mexico
Roswell, New Mexico
Emerald Isle, North Carolina
Simpsonville, South Carolina
Sumter, South Carolina
Austin, Texas
Dripping Springs, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Richfield, Utah
Seattle, Washington

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