AZ Arboretums

Dasylirion wheeleri

Desert spoon

Common: Desert spoon, Sotol
Family: Agavaceae
Origin: Native to deserts and mountains of the Southwest
Sunset Zone: All zones
Light: Full sun; accepts partial shade, reflected heat
Soil: Sandy and poor soil types; grows naturally in rocky soils
Water: No water once established

Use in desert landscapes with other desert plants; container plant. Highways, medians. Strong emphasis when grouped. Clumps of long narrow leaves spring from woody base that can with age grow into a treelike trunk. Grows slowly, leaves to three ft. long.

Hardy. Inch-wide leaves build trunk to 5 ft. tall, covered with dried drooping shag of old leaves. Narrow, toothed, spiky bluish-gray leaves, stiffer than those of D. longissima. May bloom in spring to late summer, producing plume of straw-colored flowers up to9-19 ft..

Used by Indians for food and fiber, and to make alcoholic beverages. Gains its name from the shape of the trunk ends of the leaves.