Beaucarnea recurvata Seeds
Ponytail Palm; Elephant Foot
Beaucarnea recurvata, also named Nolina recurvata, the Ponytail Palm and Elephant Foot, is an evergreen tree in the Ruscaceae family, native to Mexico’s semi-desert areas. Beaucarneas are closely related to Yuccas and thrive under the same conditions. This plant is even suitable for growing indoors in colder climates.
Beaucarnea recurvata usually has only one stem until it reaches 2.4m tall. Plants in nature will reach about 4.5m to 6m in height with a base about 3.5m across! The Ponytail Palm is a very unique looking tree. It features a large, wrinkled, swollen base and clusters of very thin, long, 2.5cm wide by 1.8m long, dark green grass-like leaves emerging from the top of the trunk. The graceful descent of the leaf clusters elicits the image of a pony's tail aimlessly swaying, hence the common name of ponytail palm.
The swollen trunk stores water, which means that it doesn't need to be watered often. The small creamy white flowers are produced only on older trees, in mid-Summer. Although they are small, they come in large quantities and form a showy display.
It is cold hardy to -5°C in winter. Older plants survive lower temperatures. Beaucarnea recurvata needs full sun to light shade. Use a mix with good drainage, for instance a good cactus mix. They are very drought tolerant. Water every 3 weeks during the growing season and fertilize it only once during this period. When the plant is in a pot, water it very sparingly during winter to prevent it from rotting. During the winter months, water only enough to keep the foliage from wilting. Over-watering is the single most frequent cause of failure when growing Beaucarneas.
Beaucarnea is a genus of flowering plants that are native to Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. Beaucarnea is sometimes treated as a synonym of the genus Nolina, with the four species being then transferred to that genus. The species are small tropical xerophytic trees growing to 6-10 m tall, with a trunk 20-40 cm diameter with a flared base; young plants are single-stemmed, branching only after flowering. The leaves are evergreen, linear, strap-shaped, 0.5-1.8 m long and 1.5-2 cm broad, leathery in texture, with a finely serrated margin. The flowers are produced only on old trees, forming on large panicles 75-110 cm long, the individual flowers numerous but very small (1.5 mm diameter), greenish-white, with six tepals. Species include Beaucarnea gracilis, Beaucarnea guatemalensis, Beaucarnea pliabilis, Beaucarnea recurvata and Beaucarnea stricta.