Bismarckia nobilis young plant

Bismarckia nobilis young plant

Bismarckia nobilis or Bismarck Palm is a palm tree with spectacular, big blue leaves.

It is the only member of the genus Bismarckia.

A rather difficult palm tree that will do well in warm climates: the warmer, the stronger it grows.

Description:

Bismarckia nobilis grows up to 25 m high in its habitat, seldom higher than 12 m in culture. The stipe is gray-brown, has a diameter of 30 to 45 cm and is slightly bulging at the base. A young pseudo-stem bears scars of the old leaves, an older pseudo-stem is smooth.

The leaves are fan-shaped, nearly round and up to 3 m wide. They are cut to 1/3 of the length into 20 and more pleated sections which are split at the end.

The petiole is 2-3 m long, thorned and covered with white wax. It is 10 cm in diameter.

The leaf crown is almost spherical and about 7.5 m wide and 6 meters high. Even young specimens have a large leaf crown with 25 leaves and the maximum width. So, even young it needs quite a lot of space.

The palm is dioecious. Inflorescence pendulous, it emerges between the leaves. The flowers are small and brown. The fruit is a 3 cm brown oval-shaped drupe with 1 seed.

Most specimens are silver-blue but there is also a green variety which is less cold-resistant but grows faster.

Nomenclature:

Common name:

Bismarck Palm

Synonym:

Medemia nobilis

Etymology:

Bismarckia: in honor of German chancellor Otto von Bismarck
Nobilis: Latin (noble)

Bismarckia nobilis mature

Bismarckia nobilis mature

Origin:

Madagascar

Habitat:

Plains, plateaus



Hardiness:

USDA zone 9-11, -3 °C for young plants and -5 °C for older plants.
Leaves may die at -3 °C but if well protected, growth may resume next spring.

Care:

 

Soil:

Well drained

Exposure:

Sun

Water:

Mature plants are drought resistant but more water will result in faster growth. Keep soil moist for young plants.

Temperature:

in USDA zone 8 and colder it is best to keep it inside at minimum 10 °C

Repot:

When the palm becomes too big for its pot.

Propagation:

Sowing instructions:

  • soak 2 days in lukewarm water
  • sow at 2 cm depth in sandy mix
  • 30 °C
  • germination time: 1 month

Image sources

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