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Beaucarnea recurvata AGM

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© RHS

Characteristics

Plant type

Conservatory/Greenhouse

Habit

Bushy

Resilience

Hardiness

H1c (heated greenhouse - warm temperate)

Colour

Flower

White in Summer

Foliage

Green in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Size

Ultimate height

1.5-2.5 metres

Ultimate spread

1-1.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

20-50 years


Preferred common name

elephant's foot

Family

Dracaenaceae


Beaucarnea are evergreen perennials, usually with a thick-barked, swollen caudex bearing a terminal rosette of tough, linear leaves, the margins often finely toothed or fibrous; tall panicles of tiny flowers are produced only on mature specimens

B. recurvata is an evergreen perennial to 2m or more, forming a bulbous trunk-like stem bearing a dense rosette of spreading to recurved, sword-shaped leaves to 1m in length. Panicles of small white flowers are rarely produced

Other common names

  • bottle palm
  • elephant foot tree
  • pony tail

Synonym(s)

  • Nolina recurvata

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun

Aspect

  • South-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Exposed or Sheltered

Cultivation

Under glass grow in loam-based potting compost in full light. Water moderately when in growth and keep just moist in winter. Top dress or pot on in spring. May be grown outdoors in most moderately fertile, sharply drained soils

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Sand, Clay, Chalk or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown at 18 to 21°C in spring or root offsets in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Patio/Container Plants


How to care

Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

Scale insects may be a problem and glasshouse red spider mite may be a problem under glass

Diseases

Generally disease free