Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage
Specimens with Sequences:19
Specimens with Barcodes:18
Species With Barcodes:3
Beaucarnea is a genus of four species of flowering plant native to Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. In the APG III classification system, it is placed in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Nolinoideae (formerly the family Ruscaceae). The genus has been included in Nolina and in various other families now subsumed in the Asparagaceae.
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.
- Selected species
- Beaucarnea gracilis (syn. B. oedipus, Nolina gracilis)
- Beaucarnea guatemalensis (syn. Nolina guatemalensis)
- Beaucarnea pliabilis
- Beaucarnea recurvata (syn. Nolina recurvata)
Cultivation and uses
The most commonly seen species is Beaucarnea recurvata (syn. Nolina recurvata), which is often called the “ponytail palm” in English (although it is not a true palm). This species is often grown as a houseplant in temperate latitudes. Successful cultivation requires winter minimum temperatures of above 10 °C, rising to around 30 °C in summer; frequent watering is needed in summer, but not in winter, when they require relatively dry conditions to avoid root decay.
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