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Common Name: Sotol
Dasylirion wheeleri is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 1.50 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
South-western N. America - Arizona to Texas and Mexico.
Open, rocky slopes at elevations of 1200 - 1900 metres in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Mexico [
Requires a very well-drained soil in a sheltered sunny position[
This species is not very cold hardy, and is said to require a minimum winter temperature of 10°c[
], However, plants can survive outdoors in the very mildest areas of Britain if given some protection such as a south facing wall and a suitable soil[
Plants are sometimes used in sub-tropical bedding schemes in Britain.
The central part of the plant can be cooked and eaten[
]. The crown of the plant was baked by the native North American Indians then dried, pounded into a powder and made into cakes[
]. They would also peel the baked crown, crush it, mix it with water then ferment it and use it as a beverage[
The flowering stems can be roasted, boiled or eaten raw[
The trunk is rich in sugar, the pith can be used to make the alcoholic beverage 'sotol'[
The leaves are used in thatching, basket making, weaving into hats, mats etc[
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.