Nolina matapensis. TREE BEAR GRASS. Mexico (Sonora)
Nolina microcarpa. BEAR GRASS, BASKET GRASS. Arizona, New Mexico, n. Mexico
DRACAENACEAE, including Dracaena and Cordyline

A Mexican plant introduced to Western science in the 1930s and named by Stanford botanist Ira Wiggins, who may have planted the 15-foot yucca-like specimen in the inner southeast circle of the Inner Quad.

The similarly leaved, acaulescent Nolina microcarpa S. Wats. grows in the the Arizona Garden. See its treatment in Flora of North America.

Illustrations (opens in a new window): gallery


The distinctive arborescent Nolina matapensis was first collected by Stanford botanist Ira Wiggins in 1934 near Mátape, Sonora, Mexico. A single tree, 15 feet tall not counting infloresecences (to 5 feet long), grows in the inner southeast circle of the Inner Quad (near Memorial Church). It has been previously listed on planting charts as a Yucca (McDonald 19s55; Parker 1973). In 2003 the scapes of the inflorescences were developing by March 1. The earliest flowers were blooming by March 27.

Shreve and Wiggins. 1951. Vegetation and Flora of the Sonoran Desert. Vol. 1.

Name derivation, genus | species P.C. Nolin, 18th century French agriculturist | village in Mexico

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