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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.  
Image of Nolina wolfii
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Nolinoidae (Asparagaceae)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
California Native (Plant List): Yes
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. 

This information about Nolina wolfii displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.