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

Category:

Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:

Silver/Gray

Blue-Green

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us

Height:

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Spacing:

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Hardiness:

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

Danger:

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

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Regional

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

Valley Center, 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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

7
positives
1
neutral
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Dec 24, 2014, 1077011947 from Greer, SC wrote:

...love this plant. It is the centerpiece of my Xeric bed with Agave, hesperaloe, yucca, iceplant, opuntia, Echeveria 'Topsy Turvy' and others. Beautiful!

Positive

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

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

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.

bob
:>)

Positive

On May 8, 2005, angele wrote:

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

Positive

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

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

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... read more