Plants acaulescent, cespitose; rosettes from vertical, subterranean, branched caudices. Leaf blades stiff, wiry, concavo-convex, 80-130 cm × 4-6 mm, not glaucous; margins entire or remotely serrulate, with widely separated, noncartilaginous teeth; apex lacerate. Scape 0.5-2 dm. Inflorescences paniculate, usually conspicuously tinged purple, 3.5-7.5 dm × 10-20 cm, held partially within rosettes; main rachis and divisions slender, flexible; bracts mostly persistent, to 30 cm, apex curled; bractlets erose, 1.5-3 mm, margins hyaline. Flowers: tepals 1.9-3.2 mm; fertile stamens: filaments 0.9-1.3 mm, anthers 0.7-0.9 mm; infertile stamens: filaments 0.5-0.7 mm, anthers 0.4-0.5 mm; fruiting pedicel erect, slender, articulate near middle, not noticeably dilated, proximal to joint to 1.5 mm, distal to joint to 2.5 mm. Capsules firm-walled, inflated, 3-4 × 4.3-5.5 mm. Seeds closely invested in capsules, rounded, bursting ovary walls, 3-4 mm diam.
Flowering late spring--early summer. Rocky limestone slopes or sandy soils, in grasslands; 1100--1400 m; N.Mex., Tex.
Nolina micrantha is similar to N. texana except for the purple pigment throughout its inflorescences, later flowering dates, and less robust habit.