Nolina microcarpa (Big Beargrass or Sacahuista)

Dec 5, 2016 | Plant of the Month

Southwest Plant of the Month – December
Nolina microcarpa (Big Beargrass or Sacahuista)
Nolina microcarpa (Big Beargrass or Sacahuista)

Nolina microcarpa (Big Beargrass or Sacahuista)


A hardy native to the Southwest, the Big Bear Grass or Sacahuista is extremely useful for use in xeriscapes and in butterfly and songbird sanctuaries. This evergreen, grass-like succulent, blooms in early summer with tall spikes of tiny white flowers and requires little water to thrive as a drought resistant/drought tolerant plant. Visually, Beargrass is a clumping grass growing from underground stems. Narrow leaves have curly threads at the end of each leaf point giving the plant a unique “shaggy” appearance. Thousands of tiny white flowers are placed at the end of the stalks that rise above the foliage and bloom in July. This hardy, drought tolerant perennial will survive our dry cold winter weather with deep roots and woody trunks.
Common Name Beargrass (sacuhuista)
Botanical Name Nolina microcarpa
Zones 5-10
Advantages Deer resistant, Native, Evergreen
Light Requirements Full Sun
Water Requirements 10 to 20”, 20 to 30”
Flowering Early to mid-summer
Evergreen Yes
Native Yes
Soil Type Clay/Sandy Soil
Planting Time Spring/ Summer and Fall
Soil Moisture Very Drought Resistant/Waterwise
Mature Height 6-7’ tall
Mature Width 4-6’ wide

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