Nolina bigelovii, Bigelow's Beargrass
Scientific Name: Nolina bigelovii
Common Name: Bigelow's Beargrass
Also Called: Bigelow Beargrass, Bigelow Nolina, Bigelow's Nolina, (Spanish: Yuca, Sotol, Zacate)
Family: Agavaceae, Agave or Century Plant Family (Reclassified to Asparagaceae)
Synonyms: (Nolina bigelovii var. bigelovii)
Size: Up to 12 feet including flowering stalk.
Growth Form: Shrub, subshrub, tree; plants large rosettes plants up to 8 feet above ground, caulescent or arborescent.
Leaves: Green, glaucous; leaves in rosettes, not rigid, linear; margins serrate or entire.
Flower Color: White, cream or tan; flowers showy, sepals and petals similar (tepals); inflorescence mostly compound paniculate; fruit a capsule.
Flowering Season: May to June.
Elevation: 1,000 to 4,500 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Rocky hillsides, ridges and canyons.
Recorded Range: Nolina bigelovii is found in the southwestern United States in AZ, CA, NV. In Arizona it occurs in the northwest parts of the state and in Gila and Yuma counties. In Nevada it is found in the extreme northeast corner and in California it is found in the southeast part of the state and in Tulare County. It is also native to Baja California and northwest Mexico.
U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: In North America Nolina bigelovii is listed as "Salvage Restricted, Harvest Restricted" by the state of Arizona.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona and California each have 4 species of Nolina, Nevada and Utah each have 1 species, New Mexico has 3 species, Texas has 5 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.
Comments: Nolina bigelovii is a handsome plant with an iconic western profile. It is used in desert and upland landscaping as a premiere focal species. The type species for Nolina bigelovii is from the Bill Williams River (Bigelovii in 1853-1854).
In Southwest Desert Flora also see; Beargrass, Nolina microcarpa.
Nolina bigelovii has been used for food and for material for baskets by southwestern America indigenous peoples.
Cahuilla Food, Unspecified; Stalk baked in a rock lined roasting pit and eaten.
Papago Fiber, Basketry; Bleached or green grass used for basketry.
See ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.