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Bear Grass

Nolina microcarpa Bear Grass
Category Accent
Size 5' x 7'
Flower Color Cream-white to Yellow
Flower Season Summer
Exposure Full Sun or Part Shade
Water Low
Growth Rate Moderate
Hardiness 10°F
Notes: Flowering Stalks


For sheer ease of maintenance, it is hard to find a better plant than Nolina microcarpa. This ornamental grass makes a great accent plant around water features. Native to Arizona, it forms clumps to five feet tall by seven feet wide. Bear grass is not only very heat and drought tolerant, but is evergreen as well. The long, slender green leaves are leathery, with finely toothed margins. The leaf tips fray to form highly ornamental curlicues. In the summer, bear grass sends up tall stalks of showy, cream-white to yellow colored flowers. Bear grass is useful for stabilizing hillsides and controlling erosion on slopes.


Bear grass is easy to care for and tolerates full sun or part shade exposures. The main requirement is soil with good drainage. Water immediately following planting. Water new plants every four days for the first month. Bear grass does not need supplemental fertilizer. Water established plants every two to three weeks in the summer; once a month in the winter. Spent flower stalks can be cut anytime. For a neat appearance, remove old foliage before new leaves emerge. Divide clumps every 2 to 3 years in the early spring.

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