Dasylirion texanum Scheele
Texas Sotol, Green Sotol, Sotol
Texas sotol is aptly named, confined to southern and western Texas and part of northern Mexico. ”Sotol” is the Spanish name for “desert spoon,” a related plant, Dasylirion wheeleri; it is also the name for a distilled spirit made from the baked and fermented bulbs of this plant. Depending upon where you look, sotols are a member of family Asparagaceae or Liliaceae.
Identification: Texas sotol has a rounded base of stiff, light green, grasslike leaves, each only ½" (1.3 cm) wide and up to 3' (91 cm) long. Grasslike in shape, that is: the leaves have sharp spines along their margins. The base of each plant looks similar enough to yuccas so they are often confused for yuccas. Extending upward 9-15' (2.7-4.6 m) is a striking flower stalk, the top 24-36" (60-91 cm) of which are yellow (or white?) flowers. Male flowers appear on separate plants than do female flowers, making Texas sotol dioecious.
Dasylirion texanum on Native Plants of Texas
Dasylirion texanum on the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M University, Texas A&M System
Dasylirion texanum at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Dasylirion texanum on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
Dasylirion texanum on Desert-tropicals.com
Dasylirion texanum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.
Range: Zones 8b-10: