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Palm - Bismarckia nobilis

Upper Botanical Garden




Boboli Gardens



Upper Botany Garden


Up to 15-20 metres tall and 5-6 m broad


Native to Madagascar, this palm has a short, stocky truck which retains the base of its old fronds when young, though tending to become smooth as the years go by. Its fan-shaped fronds grow up to 150-200 cm wide, consisting of rigid, ribbon-like, pointed segments. The young leaves are a green tinged with purple-violet, while the adult fronds are silvery-blue covered in a thin, waxy, silver-white coating. Each frond of this plant stems from a long, rigid petiole, up to 150-180 cm long, which bears a few sharp thorns on its sides. Its crown is highly distinctive as it is perfectly rounded. More mature plants can easily withstand temperatures as low as -3/-4°C for short periods, though they prefer mild, temperate climes. The green-leaved variety starts to become distressed at 0°C.

Text by
Paolo Basetti
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