Dasylirion acrotrichum

great desert spoon
Green sotol forms a satellite orb with rays of hooked leaves, eventually over a stout trunk. Slow on coast. Produces tall spike of flowers, a honeybee feast.
Dasylirion acrotrichum
height 3–10ft
width 3–6ft
tolerates Cold, Drought, Heat, Pots, Rooftops, Neglect, Wind
Dasylirions are unusual plants from North American deserts. They are exceptionally drought tolerant, especially once established. They will love a sunny hot spot, but they’ll want summer water every week or two for the first few years to get established, since summer is when they receive rainfall in nature.

Yellowing of leaves is a sign of overwatering or not enough drainage.

Generally dasylirions remain solitary, though they do sometimes split from the top and grow into multi-trunked forms with great age.
exposure Part Shade – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Cactus Mix, In Pots: Cactus Mix, Tolerates Sandy Soil
fertilizing All Purpose
origin NC Mexico

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

Dasylirions create a head of many long, thin leaves in an orb shape over a stout trunk. You can either let these leaves age and turn into a beard as they would in nature, or prune off the oldest leaves as they age and get replaced by new ones from the crown. Pruning the lower leaves will expose the trunk, giving the plant a clean textured look over time. This can also make it easier to weed around the base of your plant, especially with the spinier dasylirion species, like this one.
To create a fountain-like appearance, prune lower leaves higher up, until the lowest leaves are at an upward angle. This will also narrow the spread of your dasylirion.
Adding to the uniqueness of these plants, a centimeter or less of the leaf tips will naturally brown and even become tufted over time.

Special Interest

Once mature, dasylirions have tall thin flower spikes during summer, up to ten feet tall! They are similar to agave flowers, in that they are a central spear covered in small flowers, but since dasylirions aren’t monocarpic your plant will continue to live on beyond their flowers. Remove the spike once it’s fully matured. Since dasylirions are either male or female, your flower spikes will reflect the gender of the plant, being different in color and shape. Flowers bloom in understated earthy tones.