Oct. 28, 2022

foothills beargrass, Nolina erumpens

For some of us beargrass is in the agave family, along with yuccas and sisal. So it makes sense that the Papago people could use this to make cordage. And for some of us Nolina leads to tales of lumpers and splitters and now, shufflers. The most determined of the splitters have beargrass in its own family, Nolinaceae. Others put it with Agavaceae, and the lumpiest lumpers find Asparagaceae useful. But that's an awfully big lump of asparagus, and approaches returning us to the lily family (Liliaceae), where this all started for anyone more than about three decades old. And sometimes it all seems like a shuffle of the deck, when some have yesterday's sunnybells in the agave family, and some have them with the hyacinths. Foothills beargrass grows in Texas and adjacent Mexico. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Travis Co TX, 4/17/22. Agave family, Agavaceae.