grows in far southwest California near the coast, and also in scattered mountainous locations across the Mojave Desert, such as the upper reaches of Joshua Tree National Park
. This is one of the largest nolina species, forming clumps up to 7 feet across, often branching a few times from the base to create small but tightly packed colonies. There may be over 200 leaves per rosette, each 20 to 50 inches long and 1 to 1.5 inches across. Leaf edges have a row of very fine teeth.