Scientific: Nolina matapensis
Common: tree beargrass, palmita
Family: Asparagaceae (subfamily Nolinoideae)
Origin: Mountainous woodlands from 3,500 to 6,000 feet elevation in Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico.

Pronounciation: No-LEE-na ma-ta-PEN-sis

Hardiness zones
USDA 8-11

Landscape Use: Strong landscape accent plant for xeric landscape themes.

Form & Character: upright, stiffly pendant, arborescent, yucca like.

Growth Habit: Moderate upright to 25 feet with a tufted 4 to 5 feet foliar canopy at and near the terminus, will become openly arborescent with age.

Foliage/Texture: Elongated, dull green strap-like foliage, very finely serrulate (similar to other species of Nolina, tree beargrass can inflict major deep paper cuts if mishandled!), 1.5 to 2 inches wide by 4 to 5 feet long; medium fine texture.

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

Seasonal Color: Summer flowers when plants mature.

Temperature: Heat tolerant to 115oF, cold hardy to 25oF.

Light: Full sun

Soil: Lke all Nolina species, a WELL-DRAINED soil is required.

Watering: Some deep and infrequent water is needed during summer if this plant is being grown in lower desert landscapes. No water other than rainfall is needed in winter.

Pruning: Remove any dead or dying foliage to give tree beargrass that clean, urban 'pineappled' haircut, lest tree beargrass look like a scruffy Ewok from Star Wars.

Propagation: Seed, cold stratification quickens germination. Very slow to establish in the landscape.

Disease and pests: Fungal root rot common in chronically damp soils, deer resistant.

Additional comments: Tree beargrass grows well in Phoenix, but not as well as blue nolina. It's typical to see tree beargrass with marginal leaf tip tatter due to local saline irrigation water and high rates of leaf transpiration. For best availability, contact Mountain States Wholesale Nursery in Glendale, AZ. Tree beargrass is one of the largest nolinas.