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Products > Chamaerops humilis var. argentea
Chamaerops humilis var. argentea - Atlas Mountain Palm
Image of Chamaerops humilis var. argentea
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Palm
Family: Arecaceae (Palmae) (Palms)
Origin: Africa, North (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Not Significant
Synonyms: [Chamaerops humilis var. cerifera]
Height: 8-12 feet
Width: 10-15 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 10-15° F
Chamaerops humilis var. argentea (Atlas Mountain Palm) - A beautiful silver palm from Northwest Africa that can occur up to 5,000 feet in elevation in the Atlas mountains of Morocco and east through Algeria. It has intense silver-blue color on the upper and lower surface of the leaves, looking similar to the Blue Hesper Palm, Brahea armata. It is as robust and adaptable as the species Chamaerops humilis, growing in a wide range of conditions and tolerating temperature extremes (cold and heat) as well as wet or dry conditions. Plant in full sun to light shade. The name for the genus was one given by Linnaeus in 1753 and was derived from the Greek words 'chamai' meaning "dwarf" and 'rhops' meaning "bush" in reference to the bush nature of the one species in this monotypic genus. When we first started growing this silver form of the species the generally accepted name was Chamaerops humilis var. cerifera as described in 1920 by the Italian botanist Odoardo Beccari (1843-1920) whose list of Asiatic Palms, published posthumously in 1933, included 8 other Chamaerops humilis varieties. This specific epithet comes from the Latin word 'humus' meaning "ground" in reference to this palm being low-growing compared to other palms. The varietal name 'cera', meaning "wax" and 'fero' meaning "to bare" or "to carry", is in reference to the leaves of this variety having a waxy coating that gives it the gray coloration. The current name now ascribed for this plant is Chamaerops humilis var. argentea as described in 1895 by the French landscape designer, horticultural explorer Édouard François André (1840 – 1911). This varietal name means "silver" and again is in reference to the color of the leaves - both names aptly describe the beautiful silver leaves of this plant. Our thanks go out to Texas nurseryman Pat McNeal who first provided us with seed of our first crops (purchased from RarePalmSeeds) and to Geoff Stein for alerting us of the name change.  This information about Chamaerops humilis var. argentea displayed is based on research conducted in our library and from reliable online resources. We will also note observations that we have made about it as it grows in the gardens in our nursery and those elsewhere, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments we receive from others, and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing it.