Texas sotol has light green leaves, a short trunk, and spectacular flower stalks from 9 to 15 feet tall. The slender individual leaves are under 1/2 inch wide and barely 3 feet long, spreading from a central trunk that is sometimes partially buried underground. It grows in arid, rocky limestone habitats in the Trans-Pecos, Edwards Plateau, and into Mexico. The dioecious flowers (male and female on separate plants) appear from May to August, attracting hummingbirds when they are mature. The leaves have dangerously sharp spines or teeth along their margins, so they must be planted away from pedestrian areas unless they are used for security barriers. Like all dasylirions, they need well-drained soil and full sun to thrive, and are very drought and heat tolerant. Texas sotols are highly ornamental landscape plants, as accents, massed as large focal points, or in pots. Throughout history Sotols have provided man with material for structures, roofs, baskets, mats, ropes, food and even liquor ("sotol"). They also provide fodder for cattle during droughts.
Texas Sotol Plant in the Northeast Mountains
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