Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dasylirion longissimum (Mexican Grass Tree)

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- From the San Marco’s website:

Large plant native to northeastern Mexico with glaucous-green stiff unarmed grass-like 6 foot long leaves. The leaves radiate symmetrically out of a large woody trunk that can slowly but eventually grow 6 -15 feet tall. In the summer, a nine foot tall spike of small white flowers emerge from reddish buds. Plant in full sun to light shade. Drought tolerant and cold hardy to at least 15 ° F. A great container plant or focal point specimen in the garden. The older, bottom leaves can be trimmed off to expose the trunk. Also known at the Longleaf Sotol this plant has long been included in the Agave family (Agavaceae) but is now considered to be in the Nolinaceae family with Nolina and Beaucarnea. The specific epithet for this plant in reference books has gone back and forth between Dasylirion longissimum and D. quadrangulatum. In the most current reference we have available, the Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Monocotyledons edited by Urs Eggli (2001), the contributor for this section, Dr Colin Walker, lists Dasylirion longissimum Lemaire (1856) as the correct name with Dasylirion quadrangulatum Watson (1859) as a synonym.

We’re in the midst of a project located in an Oak forest in Marin County.
In choosing the plants for this garden we were empathetic to the existing surrounding landscape and keeping the garden low in maintenance and low in water use.

Two 15 gallon specimen Dasylirion longissimum where chosen as sentinel plants for either side of the entry stair way.

Other plants such as cistus salvifolia, arctostaphylos, coleomena, euphorbia , rosemary and lavenders were planted to work in harmony with the site.

From Untitled Album

From Untitled Album


Desert Dweller said...

Thanks for sharing this project's progress...I always look forward to that type of thing.

Your Dasylirion longissimum (AKA D. quadrangulatum?) is a favorite I do not use enough of. Some nice specimens on top of a retaining wall down in Abq, and the way the foliage almost vibrates in the wind, is too much!

Hoover Boo said...

I've had one in the ground for 5 or 6 years, hasn't bloomed yet. It likes more water than I expected. Yucca linearifolia is visually a nearly perfect miniature version.

Lovely design with the retaining walls. Native stone? Looks completely appropriate to the site.

Deviant Deziner, aka Michelle said...

Desert D,
It seems that you are correct, D. longissimum and quadrangulatum are one in the same.

I have one of these in a pot and so far it has been very accommodating to my stingy watering ways.

I hope these two that I put in the ground respond well to a somewhat drought like watering schedule.
( crossing fingers )
Thanks for your experiences with this plant

danger garden said...

Yikes! I've got a teeny tiny one of these I ordered from Annie's Annuals last spring. So tiny in fact that I forgot about protecting it during our cold snap. I saw your title and before I could read the post I had to run out and check on it. Turns out it's fine, thank you for the reminder.

I love the look of this project and your plant list...I hope you'll include more pictures as the plantings mature. I love how often you do that!

Laguna Dirt said...

what a cool project! thanks for sharing!

Phrago said...

Hey, Very interesting plant, but too bug for my green houses. nive hilly looking terrain. reminds me of my sister'd place in the Elkhorn Slough. Nice wall...

Unknown said...

I have a mexican grass tree that is about to flower and would like to find another so I can pollinate the flower. Can anyone help?