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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Nolina microcarpa S. Wats.
Sacahuista, Sacahuista beargrass
USDA Symbol: NOMI
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Sacahuista beargrass has numerous rigid, grass-like leaves growing from large, woody, basal stems. These coarse-bladed leaves, usually less than 4 ft. long, exhibit a yucca-like growth habit. White flowers are borne in dense, open clusters atop 3-6 ft. flowering stems. Plant lacks conspicuous stem.
In spite of its name, this is not a true grass but a succulent member of the lily family. It has been utilized to construct baskets by Native Americans. The name Sacahuista is derived from two Aztec words meaning thorn grass: zacatl (grass) and huitztli (thorn).
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
AZ , NM , UT Native Distribution:
NM to Washington Co. UT, AZ & n. Mex.; reported for CO, OK & w. TX Native Habitat:
Rocky, well-drained slopes; dry plains; 3000 to 6500 ft. USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Drought tolerant.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Take individual offshoots from mature plants in winter. Plant seeds in cold frame or greenhouse in late January (cool weather). Seedlings do best if transplanted into 4-6 inch pots and given light shade the first season. Seed Collection:
Collect seeds when pod
begins to dry. Spread seeds in thin layer and dry at room temperature. Store in sealed, refrigerated containers from up to one year. Seed Treatment:
Not Available Commercially Avail:
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Texas Discovery Gardens
- Dallas, TX
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Record Modified: 2010-01-23
Research By: TWC Staff