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Products > Nolina wolfii
Nolina wolfii - Giant Nolina

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Nolinaceae (~Agavaceae)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [Nolina parryi ssp. wolfii]
Height: 4-8 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): No Irrigation required
Winter Hardiness: < 0 °F
Nolina wolfii (Giant Nolina) - A large slow growing evergreen succulent tree-like shrub to 12 feet tall but usually seen from 4 to 8 feet tall with one or more stems bearing rosettes of many 2 to 3 foot long olive green slightly-serrated leaves. Mature (35+ year old) plants produce tall stalks bearing small lightly fragrant white flowers. Plant in full sun to light shade in a well-drained soil. Irrigate infrequently if at all. Hardy below 0 F. Though in recent treatment Nolina wolfii has been synonymized with Nolina parryi, the Mojave desert beargrass, this plant has long been recognized as the largest of the California Nolina and has a distribution that is further to the north and east of Nolina parryi. It can be found mixed with typical Nolina parryi from the San Jacinto Moutains through Joshua Tree National Park and north to the Kingston Mountains, a range surrounded by flat and dry lowlands that lies midway between Barstow and Death Valley. This form was long noted to be notably larger, with stouter trunks and more robust flower spikes than the more southern and western Nolina parryi. In Phillip Munz's "A Flora of Southern California" (UC Press 1974) the taxonomic key separated the two by foliage characteristics with Nolina wolfii having leaves 15-30 mm. wide and Nolina parryi with leaves 8-15 mm. wide and listed Nolina parryi as 3-10 decimeters tall while N. wolfii was listed at 4 to 5 meters tall. The genus was named by Andre Michaux (1746-1802), a French botanist sent to North America by King Louis XVI. His name honors Abbé Pierre Charles (P.C.) Nolin, a French agriculturist and horticultural author. The specific epithet "wolfii" authored by Munz in 1950 was to honor Dr. Carl Wolf, botanist at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden while "parryi" was a name given by Sereno Watson, American botanist and curator of the Harvard Herbarium, to honor Dr. Charles C. Parry English born American botanist and "King of Colorado botany". Images of this plant growing in the Kingston Mountains courtesy of Todd Masilko.  The information provided on this webpage is based on the research that we have conducted about this plant in our nursery library and that information that we have found about it on reliable online sources. We also take into consideration observations in our nursery of crops of this plant, as well as of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens. We will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if it includes cultural information aiding others in growing Nolina wolfii.