Asparagaceae (asparagus family) Nolina

Nolina matapensis tree bear grass

Mexico (Sonora)
Nolina matapensis treatment. Vegetation and Flora of the Sonoran Desert. Vol. 1. 1951.

The distinctive arborescent Nolina matapensis was first collected by Stanford botanist Ira Wiggins in 1934 near Mátape, Sonora, Mexico. He gave its scientific name. 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). Wiggins may have planted it. It has been previously listed on planting charts as a yucca (McDonald 1955; Parker 1973). In 2003 the scapes of the inflorescences were developing by March 1. The earliest flowers were blooming by March 27.

The similarly leaved, acaulescent Nolina microcarpa grows in the Arizona Garden.

Illustrations: gallery.

Name derivation: Nolina – P.C. Nolin, 18th century French agriculturist; matapensis – village in Mexico.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. Title changed to T. matapensis (Jan 2024, SP).