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Products > Dasylirion wheeleri
Dasylirion wheeleri - Spoon Yucca

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Nolinaceae (~Agavaceae)
Origin: Southwest (U.S.) (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Summer
Height: 4-6 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10° F
Dasylirion wheeleri (Spoon Yucca) - An evergreen long lived plant with long, gray strap-shaped serrated leaves on a stout short trunk that can rise 4 to 6 feet and the spread can be about the same. The 3 foot long narrow leaves are blue-gray color with sharp serrated margins and a spoon shaped base that gives the plant one of its common name. These leaf bases remain on the trunk giving it a rough appearance. Flowering occurs only every few years with tiny pale brownish greenish male or female flowers (this is a dioecious plant bearing flowers of one sex or the other) on stout spikes 10 to 15 feet tall from the center of the leaf rosette in early summer. After flowering the rosette branches at the base of the inflorescence to replace the flowering rosette and enabling the stem to continue to grow on. Plant in full sun. It is drought tolerant and hardy to 0 degrees F. Though flowering is not a regular occurrence the flowers are interesting and attract bees, butterflies and other insects to the garden. It is a bit of a challenge in the garden as its teeth along the leaf margins are sharp and will grab clothing and skin so keep away from pathways and wear leather gloves when trimming or pulling older leaves. This plant inhabits rocky hillsides and grasslands from 3,000 to 6,000 feet in southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico west Texas and south into Sonora Mexico. The name for the genus comes from the Greek words 'dasys', meaning "dense" , "rough" or "shaggy" and 'lirion' meaning "lily" likely in reference to the long rough leaves. The specific epithet honors Lieutenant George M. Wheeler who lead a geographical and geological survey of the Western US. The genus has long been included in the Agave family (Agavaceae) but is now considered to be in the Nolinaceae family with Nolina and Beaucarnea. Other common names include Desert Spoon, Nolina, Beargrass, yuca, sotol (means palm) saņo and palmita.  Information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it. We also will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips would aid others in growing Dasylirion wheeleri.