Catalina Highway above Molino Basin Campground 6/12/19
Molino Basin Campground 6/14/19
Wildflowers of Southern Arizona
Dasylirion wheeleri .
Asparagus (Asparagaceae) family.
Common Name: Common Sotol. Duration: Perennial. Nativity: Native. Lifeform: Subshrub. General: Large, succulent shrub emerging from a central thick, woody, subterranean caudex. Plants dioeceous. Leaves: Linear, basally clumped, elongated, rigid, about 1 m long and 3-4 cm broad, whitish to bluish green, waxy, the margins armed with sharp, curved spines that point toward the leaf apex. Flowers: Large terminal panicles, on stalks 1.5-5 m tall; male panicles composed of catkinlike spikes. Perianth about 2 mm long, sepals and petals thin, whitish, sometime tinged purple. Fruits: Capsule 7-9 mm long, 6-8 mm broad, 1-celled, 3-winged. Ecology: Found on rocky or gravelly hillsides and slopes from 3,000-6,000 ft (914-1829 m); flowers May-July. Distribution: c and s AZ, NM; south to n MEX. Notes: This is a ubiquitous shrub of Chihuahuan scrub and semidesert grasslands. Distinguish from Yucca and Nolina by larger, curved teeth on leaf margins and from Agave by the leaves being thin, not succulent. The dense, rounded rosette of blue-green toothed leaves is distinctive, as is the large stalk with a dense raceme of smallish white flowers at the end. D. wheeleri is the only native Dasylirion in Arizona, and is widely used in landscaping. Ethnobotany: Crowns pit-baked, crushed, and fermented for use as a beverage. Stalks roasted, boiled, eaten raw. Stalks used for cradleboard backs, as a source for material for basketry, mats, and for ceremonial purposes. Etymology: Dasylirion comes from the Greek root dasys -shaggy, thick, hairy, rough-, while wheeleri is named for George Wheeler (1842-1905) an early American explorer.
Santa Catalina Mountains.
Bug Spring Trailhead
Location: Beside access road to parking lot.
Notes: Catalina Highway above Molino Basin Campground 6/12/19
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