Scientific: Nolina nelsoni
Common: blue nolina, blue bear grass tree, tree Sacahuista
Family: Nolinaceae
Origin: Mountainous chaparral and open oak and juniper woodlands of Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Pronounciation: No-LEE-na NEL-son-i

Hardiness zones
Sunset
10-13
USDA 8-11

Landscape Use: Strong landscape accent plant for xeric landscape themes

Form & Character: upright, stiffly pendant, yucca like

Growth Habit: Moderate upright to 20 feet with a tufted 4 to 5 feet foliar canopy at and near the terminus, will become sparsely arborescent with age.

Foliage/Texture: Medium green juvenile foliage maturing into powder blue adult foliage, all very finely serrulate (similar to other species of Nolina, blue nolina might inflict major deep paper cuts if mishandled!), 1.5 to 2 inches wide by 12 to 18 inches long; medium fine texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Paniculate, small yellowish white flowers on a large 6 to 10 feet panicled stalk; fruits 3 lobed and somewhat inflated.

Seasonal Color: Summer flowers when plants mature.

Temperature: Tolerant, hardy to 10oF.

Light: Full sun

Soil: WELL-DRAINED soil is required, especially in winter when soils can be damp and cold.

Watering: Some deep and infrequent water is needed during summer when blue nolina is being grown in Phoenix landscapes. Otherwise, no water other than rainfall is needed during winter.

Pruning: Remove dead or dying foliage to give blue nolina that clean, urban 'pineappled' haircut.

Propagation: Seed, cold stratification quickens germination. Blue nolina ia very slow to establish growing as few as only 10 leaves during the first 2 years.

Disease and pests: Fungal root rot common in cold damp soils, deer resistant (for you Payson dwellers).

Additional comments: In the final analysis, blue nolina grows well in the Phoenix/Tucson areas and is a welcome addition to large xeric landscape spaces as a specimen plant. Blue nolina can also grow well in Prescott and Payson (sorry Flagstaff, it's too cold up there in the high country for you all to grow this exquisite accent shrub). Blue nolina is not widely cultivated by wholesale nurseries and usually only larger specimens are available for purchase costing in excess of $200/plant. For best availability, contact Mountain States Wholesale Nursery in Glendale, AZ. Blue nolina and it's species cousin tree beargrass are one of the largest nolinas for Phoenix landscapes.