Cool Season Interest: Nolina

I spotted a few hillsides of Nolina microcarpa on one hillside. Photos from 11/29/2019.

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That illustrates why winter interest goes way beyond the longings of some, flowers as many month as possible.

It must include evergreen foliage, and not just some basal leaves that stay alive in the cool season.


I was driving back from a cold and wet Thanksgiving trip to a friend’s weekend lodging, hidden in a deep valley at the edge of the Gila region. Any colder, and it would have snowed there.

It did snow up here, over 1,000 feet higher in elevation, the day before and the day after Thanksgiving.

Snow Tgiving-Silver City 1-SMLSnow Tgiving-Silver City 2a-SMLSnow Tgiving-Silver City 2b-SML


The rolling hills grabbed my attention, the heater blasting in my car. Where ecoregions fade into each other: Chihuahuan desert grassland becomes the Arizona-New Mexico Mountains. That’s one of my favorite things to see, everywhere it occurs.

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Other than the evergreen foliage, did you notice the plant spacing? This elegance: letting the process of infrequent rain events and slope determine the quantity of plants that can be sustained.

Spacing_Nolina_microcarpa-Silver City W1b-SML

There’s no over-crowding here. Not only are the Nolina microcarpa spacing themselves where precipitation can sustain them, but so are the native bunch grasses. (no ID)