Scientific: Dasylirion acrotrichum (syn. Dasylirion acrotriche, and almost indistinguishable from D. texanum)
Common: green desert spoon or green sotol
Family: Asparagaceae (subfamily Nolinoideae)
Origin: Mexico south to Guatemala

Pronounciation: Da-sa-LIR-ee-on a-crow-TRI-cum

Hardiness zones
Sunset
11-13
USDA 8-10 (arid regions only)

Landscape Use: Specimen, accent, barrier, xeric or desert landscape themes.

Form & Character: Large, evergreen xeric shrub, calescent, agave like, rounded, rigid.

Growth Habit: Upright, very slow, non-clumping to 6 feet with a strong trunk. Flower spikes extend upwards to 15 feet in height.

Foliage/texture: Long, green, twisting, strap like leaves with prominent marginal spines, leaf sheath is in the form of spoon that was once used by ntive Americans as such; medium coarse texture.

Flowers & fruits: Dioecious, cream-colored flowers, plume-like, on 6 to 15 feet stalk, plants will only flower after the 7-10 years and then will not flower every year thereafter. Flowering also results in cessation of terminal meristem and induction of usually a single upper lateral meristem. Unlike many agaves, green desert spoon doesn't die after flowering.

Seasonal color: Flowers stalks in later spring to summer.

Temperature: Tolerant, some heat stress above 110oF. Cold tolerant to 20oF.

Light: Full sun

Soil: Well drained is best, but interestingly green sotol tolerates higher soil moisture conditions better than other species in this genus.

Watering: Somewhat drought tolerant, but must reveive supplemental water during summer for successful culture in Phoenix. Otherwise, if green sotol is planted in the lower desert urban landscapes it's best to irrigate sparingly if at all during the winter. In the lower desert, sotol will typically show significant leaf marginal tip necrosis drying and salt burn.

Pruning: Green sotol plants do not naturally shed their leaves which are persistent and form a "skirt" much like Dasylirion wheeleri. With that in mind, the only pruning that a sotol ever needs is the removal of senescent leaves. Please, do not shear!

Propagation: Usually propagated sexually by seed, but keep in mind that germination and establishment rates are slow.

Disease and pests: Root rot might occur if soil is chronically wet.

Additional comments: Green sotol is a plant that is except for its foliage color identical to Dasylirion wheeleri in every way. It is less commonly seen in Phoenix landscapes. Like sotol, green sotol has an alcoholic beverage extracted from it's trunk.

Dasylirion acrotriche var. parryanum has exceptionally fine form.

This genus Dasylirion consists of 18 semi-succulent species that are for the most part little known outside the desert Southwest. Dasylirion acrotrichum and Dasylirion texanum (Texas sotol) are similar in appearance. Due to its greater cold tolerance, Texas sotol is a great substitute for green sotol in desert landscape gardens at higher elevations such as in the Arizona cities of Prescott, Payson, and Sierra Vista.