Xerophyllum tenax

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Species Name: Xerophyllum tenax
Common Name: Bear Grass, Indian Basket-Grass

A grass-like member of the Lily family, similar to Yucca. Forms 6' flower stalks in 5 to 7 year cycles. Flowers fragrant. Tough olive-green leaves and dramatic flowers make this a great accent plant. Also good in containers.

Plant Family: Liliaceae
Plant Type: Perennial
Height by Width: 4.5'h x 4'w
Growth Habit: Clumping
Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
Growth Rate:
Sun Exposure: Part sun to part shade
Soil Preference: Sandy, rocky
Water Requirements: Semi-dry
Cold Hardy to: To 7000'
Flower Season: June-August
Flower Color: White
Distribution: Klamath Range, Outer North Coast Range, High Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay area
Natural Habitat: Dry open slopes, ridges, montane coniferous forests below 7000'

Care and Maintenance


Other Names
  • Harlow, Nora and Kristin Jakob. Wild Lilies, Irises, and Grasses: gardening with California Monocots. Berkely and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press. 2003.