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Useful Temperate Plants

Dasylirion simplex

Trel.

Asparagaceae

+ Synonyms

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Dasylirion simplex is an evergreen, succulent perennial plant producing a trunk around 100cm long upon which there is a rosette of leaves that can each be around 100cm long. The plant usually flowers annually, producing a flowering stem that can be up to 5 metres long.
The various Dasylirion species were once a major source of food and materials for people in the arid and semi-arid regions of southwestern N. America from Arizona to Texas and south to central Mexico. The stems provide a starch-rich food that can also be fermented into a potent alcoholic beverage, whilst the leaves and stems provide materials for thatch, weaving, basketry and construction[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
,
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

181
Title
Meet Flora Mexicana.
Publication
 
Author
Pesman. M. W.
Publisher
Dale S. King. Arizona.
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable flora but rather lacking botanically. A few notes on useful plants.

Range

Southern N. America - northern Mexico (Durango).

Habitat

Rocky and gravelly desert areas[
181
Title
Meet Flora Mexicana.
Publication
 
Author
Pesman. M. W.
Publisher
Dale S. King. Arizona.
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable flora but rather lacking botanically. A few notes on useful plants.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Shrub
Height1.00 m
PollinatorsBees, Insects
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Requires a very well-drained soil in a sheltered sunny position[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

A dioecious species,both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

The various Dasylirion species were once a major source of food and materials for people in the arid and semi-arid regions of southwestern N. America from Arizona to Texas and south to central Mexico. The stemsprovide a starch-rich food that can also be fermented into a potent alcoholic beverage, whilst the leaves and stems providematerials for thatch, weaving, basketry and construction[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
,
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The spongy interior of the trunks, as well as the leaf bases, is rich in sugars and has been found to be an excellent food, especially in time of need. The plants were formerly much used for food by the natives of the arid regions, and are still so used to some extent[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
,
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The leaves are trimmed off the plant and the remaining head is roasted or boiled. The sweet pith and the leaf bases can then be eaten[
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. Traditionally, the heads were often baked for about 24 hours in pits dug in the ground[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
,
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
Once roasted, the trunks can then be fermented and distilled in order to obtain a highly esteemed intoxicating drink known as ‘sotol’, which is a potent, colourless beverage of penetrating odour and peculiar taste[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
,
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The alcohol has been extracted from sotol plants upon a commercial scale[
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The tough leaves contain a fibre suitable for making rough cordage. This fibre also seems to be suitable for the manufacture of paper[
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The leaves are often used in weaving, for making baskets, rough hats, mats, handicrafts etc.[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
,
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The leaves are also much used for thatching[
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The leaf bases are used to fan charcoalfires[
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

When one of the plants, covered with the dead leaves, is set on fire it will burn for some time, and the burned stumps are a familiar sight in regions where the plants occur. The leaf bases remaining on such burned plants, when removed from the trunk, make very satisfactory beds upon camping expeditions, for they are elastic and not uncomfortably hard[
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The trunks are used frequently in constructing traditional houses[
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The trunks are used for fuel[
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2022-08-17. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Dasylirion+simplex>

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