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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Asparagales

Familia: Asparagaceae
Subfamilia: Nolinoideae
Tribus: Nolineae
Genus: Beaucarnea
Species: B. compacta – B. glassiana – B. goldmanii – B. gracilis – B. guatemalensis – B. hiriartiae – B. hookeri – B. olsonii – B. pliabilis – B. purpusii – B. recurvata – B. sanctomariana – B. stricta

Beaucarnea Lem., Ill. Hort. 8: 59. 1861.


Pincenectitia Lem., Ill. Hort. 8 (Misc.): 48. (1861)
Calibanus Rose, Contr. U. S. Natl. Herb. 10: 90 (1906)


Sometimes synonymised with Nolina but see Rojas-Piña et al., (2014)


Govaerts, R. et al. 2000. Beaucarnea in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2000 Mar. 14. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2009. Beaucarnea. Published online. Accessed: 14 March 2009.
Rojas-Piña, V., Olson, M.E., Alvarado-Cárdenas, L.O., & Eguiarte, L.E. (2014) Molecular phylogenetics and morphology of Beaucarnea (Ruscaceae) as distinct from Nolina, and the submersion of Calibanus into Beaucarnea. Taxon, 63(6), 1193-1211.
Walker, C. 2015. Beaucarnea updated. CactusWorld 33(4): 267–272 PDF Reference page.

Vernacular names
magyar: Buzogányfa, elefántláb

Beaucarnea is a genus of flowering plants native to Mexico and Central America.[1] In the APG III classification system, it is placed in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Nolinoideae (formerly the family Ruscaceae[3]). Beaucarnea is sometimes treated as a synonym of the genus Nolina, with the species being then transferred to that genus. However, recent research shows that Beaucarnea should be treated as an independent genus.[4]

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.

Plants of the World Online accepts the following species:[1]

Image Scientific name Distribution
Beaucarnea compacta L.Hern. & Zamudio Guanajuato
Beaucarnea glassiana (L.Hern. & Zamudio) V.Rojas-Piña Guanajuato
Beaucarnea goldmanii.JPG Beaucarnea goldmanii Rose Chiapas, Guatemala, El Salvador
Beaucarnea gracilis Puebla.jpg Beaucarnea gracilis Lem. Puebla, Oaxaca
Beaucarnea guatemalensis - Marie Selby Botanical Gardens - Sarasota, Florida - DSC01325.jpg Beaucarnea guatemalensis Rose Guatemala, Nicaragua
Beaucarnea hiriartiae 1c.JPG Beaucarnea hiriartiae L.Hern. Guerrero
Calibanus hookeri 2020-02-08 6949.jpg Beaucarnea hookeri (Lem.) Baker San Luis Potosí, Hidalgo
Beaucarnea olsonii V. Rojas & L.O. Alvarado[5] Puebla, Oaxaca
Beaucarnea pliabilis.jpg Beaucarnea pliabilis (Baker) Rose Campeche, Quintana Roo, Yucatán, Guatemala, Belize
Beaucarnea purpusii Rose Puebla, Oaxaca
Beaucarnea recurvata - Val Rahmeh - DSC04417.JPG Beaucarnea recurvata (K.Koch & Fintelm.) Lem. Oaxaca, Puebla, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, Veracruz
Beaucarnea sanctomariana L.Hern. Oaxaca
Beaucarnea stricta 1.jpg Beaucarnea stricta (K.Koch & Fintelm.) Lem. Oaxaca


"Beaucarnea". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 4 January 2022.
"Appendices | CITES". Retrieved 2022-01-14.
Chase, M.W.; Reveal, J.L. & Fay, M.F. (2009), "A subfamilial classification for the expanded asparagalean families Amaryllidaceae, Asparagaceae and Xanthorrhoeaceae", Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 161 (2): 132–136, doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00999.x
Rojas-Piña, Vanessa; Olson, Mark E.; Alvarado-Cárdenas, Leonardo O.; Eguiarte, Luis E. (2014-12-22). "Molecular phylogenetics and morphology of Beaucarnea (Ruscaceae) as distinct from Nolina, and the submersion of Calibanus into Beaucarnea". Taxon. 63 (6): 1193–1211. doi:10.12705/636.31.

ROJAS-PIÑA, VANESSA; ALVARADO-CÁRDENAS, LEONARDO O. (2016-11-25). "Beaucarnea olsonii (Ruscaceae), a new species of ponytail palm from southwestern Puebla, Mexico". Phytotaxa. 286 (1): 13. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.286.1.2. ISSN 1179-3163.

The Beaucarnea-Calibanus Page of the National University of Mexico: photographs of the species in the wild
Germplasm Resources Information Network: Beaucarnea
New York Botanic Garden: Beaucarnea pliabilis

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