Chamaerops humilis var. argentea
This glaucous blue-grey-silver and somewhat variable form of Chamaerops humilis from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Western Algeria is a stunning addition to the palm garden. Growing to about 1700 m above sea level, Chamaerops humilis v. argentea is a tough plant, well accustomed to dry hot conditions during the summer and the occasional frost and snow in its natural environment. It requires a drier, more alkaline substrate than some palms and benefits from the generous addition of sand, grit and shingle to the soil as well as some dolomite lime mixed in well before planting. Capable of surviving down to about -10 C and possibly lower depending on the drainage of its soil and the overall local aspect, it should always be remembered that Chamaerops are not generally as hardy as Trachycarpus fortunei and a little extra precaution may be called for in colder regions during any sustained periods of sub-zero temperatures in the winter.
Often sold by nurseries as the taxonomically incorrect Chamaerops humilis var. cerifera, the name Chamaerops humilis var. argentea, first described by Édouard-François André in 1885 in the French botanical journal Revue Horticole 57: 231, predates the synonym cerifera (Latin: cerifera = waxy) given to it by Beccari by 35 years and is therefore, under international taxonomic rules, the correct one to use.
|Synonyms||Chamaerops humilis var cerifera|
|Geographical Origin||Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Western Algeria|
|Cultivation||Full sun. A dry soil with its drainage improved by generous quantities of sand, grit and shingle. It prefers an alkaline pH. It resents being transplanted so choose your permanent poistion well and remember to give it plenty of space.|
|Eventual Height||3-4 m|
|Eventual Spread||Often clumping with basal offsets. 2-3 m|
|Hardiness||Down to -10 C if well drained. Beyond that be prepared to protect, depending on your local conditions. -12C is usually ok but why take chamces? Keep as dry as possible during the winter|
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