Beaucarnea

 

This small mexican genus is known mostly for the Beaucarnea recurvata also called "Ponytail Palm". They are not palms, instead they are in the Agave family. They tend to form very large trunk bases as they grow older, and can become impressive features of your garden. Some books consider Beaucarnea to be a part of the genus Nolina, but recent studies show distinct differences justifying keeping them in a separate genus.

They need a good drainage but are a lot less particular if grown outside. I have seen many growing in Phoenix close to sprinklers that keep them pretty wet in winter, without seeing negative consequences, but they seem to rot much more easily when kept as a house plant. They like full sun in most places, but seem to grow better with some shade when planted in the low deserts of Arizona.

Older plants produce whitish flowers on a 3-foot tall feathery spike. They are propagated almost exclusively by seeds.

Species and varieties
Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm, Bottle Palm)
Beaucarnea stricta (Ponytail Palm, Bottle Palm)
Beaucarnea longifolia synonym of Nolina longifolia (Mexican Grass Tree)

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