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Green Sotol

Dasylirion leiophyllum

Other common name(s):

Desert Candle, Smooth-leaved Sotol, Smooth-leaf Sotol, Sotol

Family:

Asparagaceae (Asparagus Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Chihuahuan Deserts
Chihuahuan Basins and Playas, Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands, Chihuahuan Montane Woodlands, Low Mountains and Bajadas, Stockton Plateau

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Shrub

Height

3
to
6
ft.

Spread

2
to
6
ft.

Leaf Retention

Evergreen

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Gravelly, Limestone, Caliche

Light Requirement

Sun

Water Requirement

Low

Native Habitat

Grassland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

Yellow

Bloom Season

Spring, Summer

Seasonal Interest

Seeds, Flowers

Wildlife Benefit

Birds

Maintenance

Easily grown, security hedge, rock gardens, rocky hillside. It is the most common species of sotol in the Trans-Pecos. Extremely tolerant of drought, heat, cold, and soil type, it must have well-drained soil and full sun to grow best, although it can tolerate light shade. It is very effective as an accent in landscapes, and even can be massed as a large-scale groundcover. Because of its substantial spines, it must be planted away from pedestrian areas unless it’s used for security plantings

Comments

Blooms May-July. Produces a flower stalk 5-20 feet tall, with long clusters of small white flowers on the upper portion. The flowers are male on one plant and female on another. At the base of the plant is a cluster of ribbonlike leaves, 1-3 feet long. They have spiny teeth along the margins that curve backward toward the base. Fruit, 3-winged shell.

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=DALE2. 3) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Genus&taxonId=3308&locationType=County&mapType=Normal. 4) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Dasylirion+leiophyllum&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 5) Miller, George O., Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas 2nd Ed., 2013, pg 48. 6) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=42912#null., 7) https://aggie-hort.tamu.edu/ornamentals/nativeshrubs/dasylirionleiophy.htm