Nolina microcarpa S. Watson
Sacahuista, Sacahuista Beargrass
Liliaceae (Lily Family)
USDA Symbol: NOMI
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).
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Size Class: 3-6 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
DistributionUSA: 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.
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
PropagationDescription: 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.
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
BibliographyBibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Nolina microcarpa in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Nolina microcarpa in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Nolina microcarpa
MetadataRecord Modified: 2010-01-23
Research By: TWC Staff