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Dasylirion wheeleri     
Desert spoon   
Agavaceae Family     

Compiled by the Master Gardeners
of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension.


Form: mounding grass-like succulent clump of silver-green points
leaf blades
detail of leaf margin
Seasonality: evergreen
Size: to 6ft with equal spread
Leaves: flat elongated blades, 2-3.5ft long, silver green or bluish green, margin toothed like saw blade; petiole base shaped like spoon
Flowers: plants are dioecious; insignificant whitish green flowers clustered tightly on dramatic stalk emerging from center of clump; grows 6 to 15ft above foliage; female plant flower structure is more rounded, on male plant it is more narrow; stalk is persistent if not removed
Fruit: small brownish seed (1/2in) joined with 3 papery disks as a trifoliate wing
Stems/Trunks: form is usually mounded only; can be pruned to a trunk-like look
Range/Origin: southern Arizona, southern New Mexico; elevations of 3000-5000ft
Hardiness: to single digits



Desert spoon
mass planting of Dasylirion wheeleri

aka Sotol
leaves used for fiber by native peoples, also used for tools and decoration

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This page was first created July 20, 2001 and last modified March 9, 2005.

Web page design and photographs by Toni Moore, Master Gardener
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