Ponytail palm

nolina 2

A complete cheat today because this is not palm at all but is called the ponytail palm because, when young, it is a single tuft of long, grassy foliage. While very young it develops a swollen base from which the stem narrows as it ages and, if the top is cut off, it branches and can be grown in many different shapes and forms. Because of this it is popular landscaping plant in frost-free places and often sold as a houseplant. It is easy to cultivate outside or under glass and it is very tolerant of drought. The swollen stem base is the way the plant survives in drought in the wild.

Beaucarnea recurvata is native to eastern Mexico and used to be known as Nolina. It is in the asparagus family, formerly in the lily family. The long, narrow leaves can reach 2m in length and mature plants flower freely with masses of creamy white, small blooms. The plants can reach 3m or more high, though a plant will be very old to reach that size.

It is a plant of dry, sunny places where temperatures reach 30c and drop to 10c and it is a very easy houseplant if it is not overwatered though you would have to find plenty of room to accommodate this fine specimen in Gran Canaria.


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5 Comments on “Ponytail palm”

  1. derrickjknight
    January 20, 2016 at 8:17 am #

    We have something a New Zealand friend has called a Cabbage Plant. I wonder if you will get to that

    • thebikinggardener
      January 31, 2016 at 6:59 pm #

      That is going to be Cordyline australis. It is funny how I used to lust after them in the UK but those cold winters a few years ago put paid to a lot of them. And here in Ireland where they thrive in the mild climate the cold winters were seen as a boon when it killed lots of them because the fallen leaves are seen as a real problem when they clog up the mower! Sorry I am late in replying

  2. Maria F.
    January 20, 2016 at 12:11 pm #


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