Dasylirion wheeleri S. Watson
Sotol, Desert Spoon
Common sotol is native to southwestern North America.
Identification: Mature plants have a thick trunk up to 5' (1.5 m) in height, with a symmetrical, attractive, spherical spray of swordlike leaves on top. The trunk is covered with a protective layer of dead leaves. Sometimes it is erect; sometimes it snakes along the ground. Leaves are light blue-green to gray in color, waxy, 14-43" (35-110 cm) × ⅜-1" (1-3 cm) wide. Leaf edges have strong yellow teeth. Flower spikes are 9½-20' (3-6 m) in height, with smaller greenish or straw-colored flowerheads that look like fluffy catkins. The individual flowers are very small, about ¹/₁₆" (2 mm). They are white on male plants and purple-pink on females.
Dasylirion wheeleri on The Flowering Garden
Dasylirion wheeleri at Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers and the Plants of the Sonoran Desert
Dasylirion wheeleri as Compiled by the Master Gardeners of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension
Dasylirion wheeleri on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database
Dasylirion wheeleri on Wikipedia
Dasylirion wheeleri description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.