Xerophyllum (plant)

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Xerophyllum tenax
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Liliales
Family: Melanthiaceae
Genus: Xerophyllum

Xerophyllum is a genus of perennial plants from the family Melanthiaceae. The genus is native to North America.[1]

There are two species:[2][3]

  • Xerophyllum asphodeloides (Pursh) Nutt. - southern Appalachians from Alabama to Maryland; also Delaware + New Jersey
  • Xerophyllum tenax (Pursh) Nutt. - Alberta, British Columbia, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, N + W California

Some species formerly placed in this genus have been transferred to others (within the tribe Melanthieae):[2]

The elongated leaves of X. tenax, commonly known as bear grass, were used for basket weaving by the Native Americans. Xerophyllum asphodeloides also known as turkey's beard is a popular garden plant, producing spikes of white flowers.


  1. ^ Utech, Frederick H., "Xerophyllum", http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=135103, retrieved 2012-04-29  Missing or empty |title= (help), in Flora of North America Editorial Committee, ed. (1982 onwards), Flora of North America (online), eFlora.org  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ a b Search for "Xerophyllum", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2012-04-29 
  3. ^ Biota of North America Program 2013 county distribution maps

External links[edit]