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Common Sotol

Dasylirion wheeleri

Other common name(s):

Desert Candle, Desert Spoon, Sotol

Family:

Asparagaceae (Asparagus Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Chihuahuan Deserts
Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Shrub

Height

4
to
6
ft.

Spread

3
to
5
ft.

Leaf Retention

Evergreen

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Limestone, Caliche, Well Drained

Light Requirement

Sun

Water Requirement

Low

Native Habitat

Grassland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

Yellow

Bloom Season

Summer

Seasonal Interest

Seeds, Nectar, Pollen

Wildlife Benefit

Butterflies, Birds, Hummingbirds

Maintenance

Low maintenance, Drought and heat tolerant. Wear leather gloves to trim or pull away older leaves. Can be grown in a patio pot, just keep it well drained. Rots in heavy soils; mulch with mineral or rock mulches instead of bark mulches. Does not require many supplemental waterings once established. Supplemental waterings in summer will, however, increase growth. Spent flower spikes of D. wheeleri can be removed if desired, but can also be left to go to seed. Propagation: Seeds.

Comments

Blooms May-July. Attractive arching rosette of 3′ long, blue-green leaves with sharp teeth along the margins. Stalks of small greenish-white to yellowish flowers. Blooms every few years. Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, & other pollinators.

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) Miller, George O., Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas 2nd Ed., 2013, pg 48. 3) Wasowski and Wasowski, Native Texas Plants Landscaping Region by Region, 1991, pg. 240. 4) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=DAWH2. 5) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Dasylirion+wheeleri&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 6) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=22303&locationType=County&mapType=Normal. 7) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=42914#null., 8) https://apps.cals.arizona.edu/arboretum/taxon.aspx?id=99