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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Dasylirion

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Monocotyledons > Order: Asparagales > Family: Asparagaceae

Seventeen species, native to Mexico and southwestern USA. Four species of Dasylirion are cultivated in southern Africa. Previously in the Ruscaceae, a family that is no longer recognised in modern classifications.

Species cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Dasylirion acrotrichum (Great desert spoon)

Native to Mexico.


Dasylirion glaucophyllum

Native to Mexico.


Dasylirion serratifolium

Native to Mexico.


Dasylirion texanum (Texan sotol)

Native to southern USA.




  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated plants of southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.

Text by Hamish Robertson