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  for JULY

Natives at San Marcos Growers
Succulents at San Marcos Growers
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Products > Nolina nelsonii
Nolina nelsonii - Blue Nolina
Image of Nolina nelsonii
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Nolinoidae (Asparagaceae)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [Nolina nelsoni, Hort.]
Height: 6-10 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 nelsonii (Blue Nolina) - A large slow growing evergreen succulent tree-like shrub to 6-10 feet tall or more but usually seen from 4 to 8 feet tall. One or more stems bear dense rosettes with many narrow moderately-rigid but not sharp 1 inch wide by 3 foot long leaves that are a very attractive silvery blue-green color and have finely-toothed margins. Mature plants produce a 4 foot tall stalk in spring bearing thousands of small lightly-fragrant white flowers after which the flowering rosette dies and is replaced from below. Nolina are dioecious with male and female flowers on separate plants and this and the small flowers distinguish it from the similar looking genus, Yucca. Plant in full sun to light shade in a well-drained soil. Irrigate infrequently if at all. Hardy below 0 F. This plant makes a stunning accent in the garden or in a container and while its slightly serrated leaf margins make it resistant to deer predation, it is not so wicked to be dangerous to the gardener. This species from the Mexican state of Tamaulipas is considered to be closely related to the California species Nolina parryi, that typically is smaller with pale green leaves. It is sometimes called Nelson's Beargrass or Nelson's Blue Beargrass because Beargrass is a common name often associated with the smaller non-arborescent species of Nolina, but it is also only distantly related Xerophyllum tenax another plant called Beargrass that is in the Lily family, while Nolina has long been considered to be in its own family the Nolinaceae and more recently in the subfamily Nolinoideae within the huge Asparagaceae family. 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. This species was first collected in 1898 by the naturalist Edward W. Nelson (1855-1934) at an elevation in the mountains near Miquihuana between 7,000-9,000 feet in the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico. It was described in 1906 and named to honor Nelson by famed American botanist Joseph Nelson Rose (1862-1928), who with Nathaniel Lord Britton published the four volume tome "The Cactaceae". 

This information about Nolina nelsonii 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.