Australian New Crops Info 2016
Supported by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation

Listing of Interesting Plants of the World:

Nolina microcarpa



This species is usually known as:

Nolina macrocarpa


This species has also been known as:

Beaucarnea microcarpa, Nolina caudata


Common names:

Sacahuista, Palmilla



Trends (five databases) 1901-2013:
[Number of papers mentioning Nolina microcarpa: 32]



Popularity of Nolina microcarpa over time
[Left-hand Plot: Plot of numbers of papers mentioning Nolina microcarpa (histogram and left hand axis scale of left-hand plot) and line of best fit, 1901 to 2013 (equation and % variation accounted for in box); Right-hand Plot: Plot of a proportional micro index, derived from numbers of papers mentioning Nolina microcarpa as a proportion (scaled by multiplying by one million) of the approximate total number of papers available in databases for that year (frequency polygon and left-hand axis scale of right-hand plot) and line of best fit, 1901 to 2013 (equation and % variation accounted for in box)] 

[For larger charts showing the numbers of papers that have mentioned this species over years, select this link; there are links to come back from there]



[Total number of keywords included in the papers that mentioned this species: 106]


Goats (3), packrat middens (3), pollen (3), Beaucarnea recurvata (2), Holocene (2), Milk yield (2), Nolina (2), Pleistocene (2), Ruscaceae (2), Steroidal saponins (2), 13C NMR (1), 1H NMR (1), Androgenized does (1), arid zones (1), Biological soil crust (1), Chihuahuan Desert (1), choice (1), Colorado Plateau (1), communities, patterns and elementary processes - ecological communities, classified (1), community ecology, patterns and processes - two species, at a particular location (1), complex indirect interactions - chains of three or more interacting species (1), Composition (1), dairy cow (1), Decision tree classification (1), desert grassland (1), dietary fiber (1), Effects on HMMEC tube formation (1), Elton's functional roles of species - crucial, communities changing in response to natural or anthropogenic changes (1), Equivalent water thickness (1), Estrus (1), Fertility (1), Fire hazard mitigation (1), forage crops (1), fungi (1), Furostane (1), Goat (1), Goat kids (1), Grass and shrub dynamics (1), Grassland vegetation (1), ingestion toxicity (1), Lactation (1), Leaf area index (1), leaves (1), Liliaceae (1), Macrofossils (1), Mammary gland (1), Mexico (1), Milk composition (1), Mortality (1), multiple use (1), natural patterns, and mathematical models - causes of community organization (1), New Mexico (1), nolina microcarpa (1), nolina texana (1), Nonnative species (1), Norgestomet (1), Normalized difference infrared index (1), paleoecology (1), physically defined communities, species assemblages - in place or habitat (1), pinyon–juniper woodland (1), Plant community cover (1), plant macrofossils (1), plant species composition changes, along elevational gradient - Santa Catalina Mountains of southeastern Arizona (1), pluvial lakes (1), Pregnancy (1), Quaternary (1), Radiocarbon (1), renewable resources (1), Reproduction (1), Reproductive performance (1), ruminal acidosis (1), semiarid zones (1), Serum immunoglobulin (1), Sesquiterpene (1), Sesquiterpene glycoside (1), Sexual behavior (1), sheep (1), Soil Moisture Experiment 2004 (1), Soil organic matter (1), Species richness (1), species richness, convenient descriptive device - functional attributes of communities (1), Spirostan (1), Stable carbon isotope (1), Stereochemistry (1), Steroidal saponin (1), symptoms (1), The root of Ophiopogon japonicus (1), trophic levels, subsets of species within communities - energy acquisition in similar ways (1), understanding of sources of biological diversity - in stressed, fragmented natural ecosystems (1), United States (1), Vegetation change (1), vegetation history (1), water (1)


[If all keywords are not here (as indicated by .....), they can be accessed from this link; there are links to come back from there]



Most likely scope for crop use/product (%):
[Please note: When there are only a few papers mentioning a species, care should be taken with the interpretation of these crop use/product results; as well, a mention may relate to the use of a species, or the context in which it grows, rather than a product]


breeding (60.71), timber (13.36), ornamental (3.34), resin (3.19), shade (3.05), medicinal (2.50), poison (1.81), weed (1.38), beverage (1.00), starch (0.83)…..


[To see the full list of crop use/product outcomes, from searching abstracts of the papers that have mentioned this species, select this link; details of the analysis process have also been included; there are links to come back from there]



Recent mentions of this species in the literature:
[since 2012, with links to abstracts; The references from 1901-2013 which have been used for the trend, keyword and crop use/product analyses below, are listed below these references]


Brusca RC, Wiens JF, Meyer WM, Eble J, Franklin K, Overpeck JT and Moore W (2013) Dramatic response to climate change in the Southwest: Robert Whittaker’s 1963 Arizona Mountain plant transect revisited. Ecology and Evolution 3, 3307-3319.

Burrows GE and Tyrl RJ (2012) Agavaceae Endl. In ‘Toxic Plants of North America’ (Ed.^(Eds  pp. 15-23. (Wiley-Blackwell).



References 1901-2013 (and links to abstracts):
[Number of papers mentioning Nolina microcarpa: 32; Any undated papers have been included at the end]


Eskander J, Lavaud C and Harakat D (2011) Steroidal saponins from the leaves of Beaucarnea recurvata. Phytochemistry 72, 946-951.

Morin PJ (2011) Communities. In ‘Community Ecology’ (Ed.^(Eds  pp. 1-23. (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd).

Yilmaz MT, Hunt Jr ER, Goins LD, Ustin SL, Vanderbilt VC and Jackson TJ (2008) Vegetation water content during SMEX04 from ground data and Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment 112, 350-362.

Holmgren CA, Betancourt JL and Rylander KA (2006) A 36,000-yr vegetation history from the Peloncillo Mountains, southeastern Arizona, USA. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 240, 405-422.

Pawan K A (2005) Assigning stereodiversity of the 27-Me group of furostane-type steroidal saponins via NMR chemical shifts. Steroids 70, 715-724.

Biedenbender SH, McClaran MP, Quade J and Weltz MA (2004) Landscape patterns of vegetation change indicated by soil carbon isotope composition. Geoderma 119, 69-83.

Cottee G, Kyriazakis I, Widowski TM, Lindinger MI, Cant JP, Duffield TF, Osborne VR and McBride BW (2004) The Effects of Subacute Ruminal Acidosis on Sodium Bicarbonate-Supplemented Water Intake for Lactating Dairy Cows. Journal of Dairy Science 87, 2248-2253.

Konnie H P (2004) Chapter 25 - Plants. In ‘Clinical Veterinary Toxicology’ (Ed.^(Eds  pp. 337-442. (Mosby: Saint Louis).

Holmgren CA, Peñalba MC, Rylander KA and Betancourt JL (2003) A 16,000 14C yr B.P. packrat midden series from the USA–Mexico Borderlands. Quaternary Research 60, 319-329.

Anderson RS, Betancourt JL, Mead JI, Hevly RH and Adam DP (2000) Middle- and late-Wisconsin paleobotanic and paleoclimatic records from the southern Colorado Plateau, USA. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 155, 31-57.

Mellado M, Cárdenas C and Ruı́z F (2000) Mating behavior of bucks and does in goat operations under range conditions. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 67, 89-96.

Pater MJ and Siquieros B (2000) Saguaro Cactus: Cultural Significance and Propagation Techniques in the Sonoran Desert. NPJ 1, 90-94.

Kálmán V (1998) A survey of the spore-ball-forming smut fungi. Mycological Research 102, 513-526.

Mellado M, Avila NY and Garcı́a E (1998) Estrous synchronization with norgestomet and estradiol valerate at the end of lactation accelerates drying off in goats. Small Ruminant Research 31, 61-66.

Mellado M, Del Angel E, Rebolloso O and Garcı́a E (1998) Immunoglobulin G concentration and neonatal survival of goat kids delivered in a pen or on open range. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 37, 33-39.

Walker J and Shivas RG (1998) Two species of Sporisorium on Chionachne in tropical Australia, the first Australian record of Ustilago brunkii and its transfer to Jamesdicksonia. Mycological Research 102, 1203-1214.

Mellado M, Bernal A, Mendoza R and Carrillo E (1996) Hormonal induction of lactation in prepuberal and multiparous crossbred goats kept under extensive conditions. Small Ruminant Research 19, 143-147.

Mellado M and Hernández JR (1996) Ability of androgenized goat wethers and does to induce estrus in goats under extensive conditions during anestrus and breeding seasons. Small Ruminant Research 23, 37-42.

Provenza FD (1996) Acquired aversions as the basis for varied diets of ruminants foraging on rangelands. J Anim Sci 74, 2010-2020.

Rankins DL, Jr., Smith GS, Ross TT, Caton JS and Kloppenburg P (1993) Characterization of toxicosis in sheep dosed with blossoms of sacahuiste (Nolina microcarpa). J Anim Sci 71, 2489-2498.

Thomas PA and Goodson P (1992) Conservation of succulents in desert grasslands managed by fire. Biological Conservation 60, 91-100.

Abrahams AD and Parsons AJ (1991) Relation between infiltration and stone cover on a semiarid hillslope, southern Arizona. Journal of Hydrology 122, 49-59.

Rankins DL, Jr., Smith GS, Ross TT, Caton JS, Miller PR and Khan MF (1988) Nolina microcarpa toxicosis in sheep. Proceedings, annual meeting - Western Section, American Society of Animal Science., 39.

Nabhan GP and Burns BT (1985) Palmilla (Nolina) fiber: a native plant industry in arid and semi-arid U.S. Mexico borderlands. Journal of arid environments. 9, 97-103.

Kemp PR and Gardetto PE (1982) Photosynthetic pathway types of evergreen rosette plants (Liliaceae) of the Chihuahuan Desert. Oecologia., 2.

King JE and Van Devender TR (1977) Pollen analysis of fossil packrat middens from the Sonoran Desert. Quaternary Research 8, 191-204.

Van Devender TR (1977) Holocene Woodlands in the Southwestern Deserts. Science 198, 189-192.

Cordas DI and Duran R (1976) Clitamra, a new smut genus. Mycologia. 68, 6.

Philip V W (1976) Macrofossil analysis of wood rat (Neotoma) middens as a key to the quaternary vegetational history of arid America. Quaternary Research 6, 223-248.

Robert Michael P (1976) Conservation of Lepidoptera in the United States. Biological Conservation 9, 55-75.

Marks WB, Dobelle WH and MacNichol EF, Jr. (1964) Visual Pigments of Single Primate Cones. Science 143, 1181-1182.

McDonald JE (1964) Pollen Wettability as a Factor in Washout by Raindrops. Science 143, 1180-1181.

Abrahams AD, Parsons AJ and Luk S-H The effect of spatial variability in overland flow on the downslope pattern of soil loss on a semiarid hillslope, southern Arizona. CATENA 18, 255-270.

Eskander J, Lavaud C and Harakat D Steroidal saponins from the leaves of Beaucarnea recurvata. Phytochemistry 72, 946-951.

Huffman DW, Stoddard MT, Springer JD, Crouse JE and Chancellor WW Understory plant community responses to hazardous fuels reduction treatments in pinyon-juniper woodlands of Arizona, USA. Forest Ecology and Management 289, 478-488.

Lan S, Yi F, Shuang L, ChenJie W and Zheng X-W Chemical constituents from the fibrous root of Ophiopogon japonicus, and their effect on tube formation in human myocardial microvascular endothelial cells. Fitoterapia 85, 57-63.


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Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following: for plant names: Australian Plant Name Index, Australian National Herbarium; ; The International Plant Names Index, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Harvard University Herbaria/Australian National Herbarium; Plants Database, United States Department of Agriculture, National Resources Conservation Service;DJ Mabberley (1997) The Plant Book, Cambridge University Press (Second Edition); JH Wiersma and B Leon (1999) World Economic Plants, CRC Press; RJ Hnatiuk (1990) Census of Australian Vascular Plants, Australian Government Publishing Service; for information: Science Direct; Wiley Online Library; High Wire; Oxford Journals; USDA National Agricultural Library; for synonyms: The Plant List; for common names:; etc.

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Latest update March 2017 by: ANCW