Originating from Mexico
Produces a unique spherical dome-shaped crown of slender leaves.
Combining the spiky and succulent appearance of other desert-style plants with a soft delicate look.
Not spiky! Although the leaves have pointed tips they are not sharp and rigid.
With its dense crown of slender leaves this species could be confused with a grass from a distance. On closer inspection however, the rosette-forming growth habit rules out this similarity, with the leaves all emerging in a spiral pattern from one central dome shaped base. In time the base can reach 30 cm across and begin to grow upwards, forming a trunk. This process may take many years and in the UK, even in ideal growing conditions, could take 20 to 30 years or more. Even when the plant is still ‘young’ and in its trunkless form it makes a stunning and distinctive addition to different styles of garden. Its dark green leaves differ from the typical silver and grey desert-style foliage, and its softer texture means it could fit with sunnier parts of jungle gardens as well as Mediterranean and desert-style gardens. It may also be grown in pots in contemporary or formal settings where its outstanding architectural qualities lend it to setting out in pairs or repeated at intervals between other plants.
This is one of the hardier spiky plants if given good drainage, withstanding -10 degrees or lower for short spells. Planted in a pot, raised planter or rockery with plenty of gravel or larger stones in the soil around it in full sun, we would expect the ‘Mexican Grass Tree’ to thrive in the south of England and in coastal regions, cities and enclosed courtyards. In more central and northern and central parts of the UK some winter protection may be required if temperatures go lower than -8 degrees for longer than a few nights.
A mature specimen of Dasylirion quadrangulatum will produce a slender flower spike (inflorescence) up to 7m tall covered in thousands of tiny individual flowers. After flowering the plant will branch, producing two crowns of foliage. Subsequent flowering will result in a multi headed specimen, although this may take a couple of generations to see in the UK.
Thriving in coastal exposure and poor free-draining soil, this is one of the most unique plants you could add to a garden in the UK.
Height and spread after 5 – 6 years 80cm x 80cm
Semi mature height and spread after 20 years 1.5m x 1.5m
Potential mature height after 50 years plus years in UK 2.5m x 1.2m