|The Desert Spoon is a member of the
nolina family (which also includes Bear Grass). The plant is easily
recognizable by the hundreds of 3 foot long ribbon-like leaves which
emanate from a central core
forming a rounded ball. The leaves are light green and lined with small
teeth along the sides. Sotol typically grow on rocky slopes in desert
grassland between 3000 and 6500 feet in elevation.
The Desert Spoon received its
name from the fact that the base of the leaves, when pulled from
the plant, are spoon shaped.
In early summer the Desert Spoon produces a flower
stalk which grows to 12 feet tall. The stalk produces thousands of
greenish white flowers which grow in a long, dense cluster. Unlike
agaves, which flower only once during their lifetime, Sotols produce a
flower stalk every year. The plant is browsed by bighorn sheep. Native
Americans used the stalks for building material and leaves for making
baskets, mats and cordage.