Dasylirion wheeleri

S. Watson ex Rothrock

Rep. U.S. Geogr. Surv., Wheeler, 272. 1878.

Common names: Desert spoon
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 422. Mentioned on page 421, 423.

Plants robust, with large crowns, to 40 cm diam.; trunks to 1.5 m, usually reclining. Leaves stout, rigid; blade whitish or bluish green, 35–100 × 2–3 cm wide above broadened base, densely waxy-glaucous, papillose, dull; prickles all antrorse. Inflorescences often massive, to 5 m; stalk 3–6 diam. at base; branches lateral, pendent in fruit, 3–10 cm; bracts wedge-shaped, attenuate; fascicles of flowers spreading, 10–20 cm from base to tip; primary axes 4–14 cm. Flowers with receptacles 0.2–0.5 mm; tepals sometimes tinged purple, 2.4 × 1–1.5 mm; style 0.2–0.3 mm, becoming swollen and golden brown in fruit; stigma lobes 0.4 mm; pedicel 3–3.5 mm in fruit. Capsules broadly obovoid or rounded in cross section, not indented, 5–8 × 4–5(–7) mm; distal wing lobes 2–2.5 mm, often indented on side. 2n = 38.

Phenology: Flowering mostly late May–Jun.
Habitat: Open, rocky slopes
Elevation: 1200–1900 m


V26 867-distribution-map.jpg

Ariz., N.Mex., Tex., Mexico (Chihuahua, Sonora).


Morphologically, Dasylirion wheeleri is fairly uniform within its range in the United States, with some minor variation in fruit size and receptacle length.

Selected References


Lower Taxa