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Beaucarnea recurvata

Beaucarnea recurvata Lem.

Nolina recurvata

Dasylirion recurvatum

Ponytail Palm, Elephant’s Foot Palm, Bottle Palm

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassLiliidaeIncludes lilies, orchids, and many others
OrderAsparagalesA diverse group that includes asparagus
FamilyAsparagaceaeAgaves, asparagus, hyacinths, and others
GenusBeaucarneaFor 19th century Belgian collector of succulents Jean-Baptiste Beaucarne
SpeciesrecurvataCurved backwards

About plant names...

The ponytail palm is not a true palm, though it is easy to understand why it is often mistaken for one. It is native to South Africa and central and southeastern Mexico.

Plants: Reaches 20-33' (6-10 m) in height, with a trunk 8-16" (20-40 cm) in diameter. Its caudex, a swelling at the base of the plant, stores water, and is the reason for the name “elephant’s foot palm.”

Leaves: Evergreen, linear, strap-shaped, 20-71" (50-180 cm) × ½-⅞" (1.5-2.5 cm), with finely serrated edges. The caudex can be as large as 9½' (3 m) in diameter.

Flowers: Only older trees (more than ten years old) produce flowers, which appear on large showy panicles 30-43" (75-110 cm) long. The panicles are large, but the flowers are tiny, ¹/₃₂" (1.5 mm) in diameter. They are greenish-white, with six tepals.

Fruits: Capsules about ⅜" (1.2 cm) long.

Edibility: Poisonous Skull & Crossbones I found this listed in the US Food and Drug Administration’s Poisonous Plant Database, though I was not able to find details about it.

Online References:

Beaucarnea recurvata on Dr. Giuseppe Mazza's PhotoMazza.com site

Beaucarnea recurvata on www.revolvy.com

Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm, Elephant’s Foot Palm, Bottle Palm)

8/31/2013 · Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA

Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm, Elephant’s Foot Palm, Bottle Palm)

4/10/2015 · Naples Botanical Garden, Naples, FL

Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm, Elephant’s Foot Palm, Bottle Palm)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD
≈ 18 × 13" (45 × 33 cm)

Beaucarnea recurvata description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 27 Jun 2017.

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Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm, Elephant’s Foot Palm, Bottle Palm)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD
≈ 31 × 46" (78 × 117 cm)

Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm, Elephant’s Foot Palm, Bottle Palm)

8/31/2013 · Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA

Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm, Elephant’s Foot Palm, Bottle Palm)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD
≈ 31 × 46" (78 × 117 cm)

Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm, Elephant’s Foot Palm, Bottle Palm)

4/10/2015 · Naples Botanical Garden, Naples, FL

Range: Zones 9-11:

About this map...