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Nolina erumpens (Foothill beargrass)
Anderson, Wynn

Nolina erumpens

Nolina erumpens (Torr.) S. Watson

Foothill Beargrass, Mesa Sacahuista

Liliaceae (Lily Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The large, woody basal stems of foothill bear-grass grow in a clump and produce long, course-bladed, yucca-like leaves. A 4-8 ft. flower stalk, partially or entirely enclosed within the foliage, bears flowers in a large, rosy cluster.


From the Image Gallery

4 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Flower stalk up to about 8 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: White to greenish white.


Native Distribution: S.c. & w. TX to n. Mex.
Native Habitat: Brushland arroyos & rocky places in Trans-Pecos

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Limestone or clayey, rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Can get too big and aggressive for small sites. Drought-tolerant.


Use Ornamental: Used as foundation for baskets.
Use Wildlife: Hiding and nesting for birds.
Use Medicinal: Used for Soap.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds


Description: 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 or capsule begins to dry. Spread seeds in thin layer and dry at room temperature. Store in sealed, refrigerated containers from up to one year.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Sibley Nature Center - Midland, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX


Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Webref 1 - Texas Native Shrubs (2002) Texas A&M University Agriculture Program and Leslie Finical, Dallas Arboretum

Additional resources

USDA: Find Nolina erumpens in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Nolina erumpens in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Nolina erumpens


Record Modified: 2023-02-20
Research By: TWC Staff

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