Scientific: Nolina microcarpa (sometimes also known as N. bigelovii var. parryi, N. bigelovii var. wolfii or N. parryi ssp. wolfii
Common: bear grass, saw grass, Sacahuista
Family: Asparagaceae (subfamily Nolinoideae)
Origin: Southwestern United States at elevations from 3,000 to 6,000 feet. Here's a majestic specimen along the head waters of the Verde River in northern Yavapi County in northern Arizona.

Pronounciation: No-LEE-na my-crow-CAR-pa-ka

Hardiness zones
3, 10-13
USDA 7-9

Landscape Use: Foliar and flowering accent for large landscape areas

Form & Character: Stiffly pendant, caulescent, shrubby, and grass like.

Growth Habit: Moderate to eventually 5 feet with 8 feet spread.

Foliage/Texture: Medium green, very finely serrulate (major paper cut time if mishandled!), 1/2 inch wide by 3 feet long, slightly thickened and concave. Foliage rosetting and emerging from a caudex (palm like trunk) that is mostly subterranean; medium fine texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Paniculate, small yellowish white flowers on a 6 feet stalk; fruits 3-lobed, somewhat inflated.

Seasonal Color: Summer flowers when plants mature.

Temperature: Tolerant

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 if this plant is being grown in lower desert landscapes. No water other than rainfall is needed in winter.

Pruning: None

Propagation: Seed, cold stratification quickens germination. Very slow to establish growing only 10 leaves in first 2 years.

Disease and pests: Fungal root rot common in cold damp soils.

Additional comments: Needs adequate space to accommodate spread. Foliage laden with calcium oxalate and saponin/sapogenin. Nolina was first described 1803 by Michaux, based on plants of N. georgiana. In 1911, Trelease recognized 25 species of Nolina. N. microcarpa shows some phenotypic variation. While most beargrass species do not have sharp spines, leaves can have sharp edges, so caution should still be taken around them.